May 22, 2024

Brighton Journal

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Skydance puts a revised offer on the table for Paramount

Skydance puts a revised offer on the table for Paramount

David Ellison's Skydance company has presented a special committee of Paramount Global's board of directors with a revised bid for control of the company, Deadline has learned. Terms were not immediately available, and the story will be updated when available. The new proposal is likely designed to make the deal more palatable to Paramount investors beyond controlling shareholder Shari Redstone, which her family's holding company NAI had requested.

Redstone controls Paramount through NAI or National Amusements.

The offer, said to be the best and final, comes as the exclusive one-month negotiating window between the two parties is set to end on May 3, although it could be extended. It also comes amid a vigil for Paramount CEO Bob Bakish, whose departure is expected to be announced today along with three division chiefs who will replace him for the time being.

Paramount has two classes of stock. Skydance initially proposed to buy Redstone's Class A controlling voting shares and certain other assets for about $2 billion. Paramount would then have purchased Skydance in an all-stock deal for a cap value of $4 billion to $5 billion. Par will remain a publicly traded company.

Most investors own non-voting Class B shares, and have been crushing the deal both publicly and privately for months. $2 billion is a hefty price for Redstone stock, which means an excellent buy for it but not for them. Issuing new shares to merge Skydance would dilute their holdings. The investor has threatened to sue. Few people like Marie Gabelli own voting shares but the deal would still be well above their heads. Whether or not shareholders have a strong legal case, litigation is never welcome and the degree of discontent was sufficient for NAI to demand revised deal terms.

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