Paramount Jumps Amid Reports That Skydance Merger Is Back On

A Tentative Deal Between the Two Sides Was Axed by Shari Redstone Last Month

Patrick Fallon / AFP / Getty Images

Key Takeaways

  • Paramount Global shares are surging in premarket trading Wednesday as reports emerge that the media conglomerate has tentatively agreed to a merger with Skydance Media.

  • Under the reported deal, Skydance would acquire National Amusements—the holding company owned by Shari Redstone that controls about 77% of Paramount’s voting shares—then merge with Paramount.

  • The two sides were reportedly in agreement last month on a deal before Redstone ended talks.

Paramount Global (PARA) shares are surging again in premarket trading Wednesday amid reports that its deal to merge with Skydance Media are back on after controlling shareholder Shari Redstone reportedly ended the discussions last month.

The resumed discussions would see Skydance buy National Amusements—the holding company owned by Shari Redstone that controls about 77% of Paramount’s voting shares—then merge Skydance with Paramount, according to multiple reports.

Marathon of Deal Talks Could Be Over

Redstone’s National Amusements would be acquired for $1.75 billion, and CNBC reported that other terms of the previous deal are still in place. Skydance reportedly would pay $4.5 billion to acquire about half of Paramount’s controlling shares at a price of $15 per share, with another $1.5 billion set to go to Paramount’s balance sheet, as the company has struggled with debt.

The deal appears set to go to a 45-day “go shop” period where others can make their own offers for Paramount to respond to Skydance’s, per The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

Skydance is the media company of David Ellison, son of Oracle (ORCL) co-founder Larry Ellison, and has produced recent action hits like “Top Gun: Maverick” and recent installments of the “Mission: Impossible” franchise.

The potential Paramount sale has been a busy, monthslong process that has included several suitors from the world of media and private equity, but the tentative deal with Skydance could put an end to the negotiations.

Paramount shares jumped nearly 12% to $11.98 about an hour before the opening bell Wednesday after closing 5.7% higher Tuesday. Shares are still down about 19% so far this year.

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