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Sony, Apollo discuss joint bid for Paramount, says source

Sony, Apollo discuss joint bid for Paramount, says source

Baku, April 19, AZERTAC

Sony Pictures Entertainment and Apollo Global Management are discussing making a joint bid for Paramount Global, according to Reuters.

The companies have yet to approach Paramount, which is in exclusive deal talks with Skydance Media, an independent studio led by David Ellison, though some investors have urged Paramount to explore other options.

The competing bid, which is still being structured, would offer cash for all outstanding Paramount shares and take the company private, the source said.

Sony would hold a majority stake in the joint venture and operate the media company, and its library of films, including such classics as "Star Trek," "Mission:Impossible" and "Indiana Jones," and television characters like SpongeBob SquarePants, according to the source.

Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman Tony Vinciquerra, a veteran media executive with deep experience in film and television, would likely run the studio and take advantage of Sony's marketing and distribution.

Apollo would likely assume control of the CBS broadcast network and its local television stations, because of restrictions on foreign ownership of broadcast stations, the source said. Sony's parent corporation is headquartered in Tokyo.

The New York Times first reported the Sony-Apollo discussions. Paramount and Sony declined comment. Apollo could not be reached for comment.

The private equity firm previously made a $26 billion offer to buy Paramount Global, whose enterprise value at the end of 2023 was about $22.5 billion.

A special committee of Paramount's board elected to continue with its advanced deal talks with Skydance, rather than chase a deal "that might not actually come to fruition," said two people with knowledge of the board's action.

The board committee is evaluating the possible acquisition of the smaller independent studio in a stock deal worth $4 billion to $5 billion.

Skydance is negotiating separately to acquire National Amusements, a company that holds the Redstone family's controlling interest in Paramount, according to a person familiar with the deal terms. That transaction is contingent upon a Skydance-Paramount merger.

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