Paramount jumps on report of Sony Pictures, Apollo discussing joint buyout bid

By Thomson Reuters Apr 19, 2024 | 4:29 AM

(Reuters) – Shares of Paramount Global rose more than 9% in premarket trade on Friday, after Reuters reported Sony Pictures Entertainment and Apollo Global Management were discussing a joint bid to acquire the media company.

Paramount is currently engaged in exclusive deal talks with Skydance Media, an independent studio led by David Ellison, though some investors have urged Paramount to explore other options.

Private equity firm Apollo had earlier made a $26 billion bid for the company, and a separate $11 billion offer for Paramount’s film studio.

Its joint bid with Sony, which is still being structured, would offer cash for all outstanding Paramount Global shares and take the company private, a source told Reuters on Thursday.

Sony Pictures would hold a majority stake in the joint venture and operate Paramount along with its library of films, while Apollo would likely assume control of the CBS broadcast network and its local television stations.

Paramount shares are down nearly 7% since April 3 when Reuters reported that the company had began 30-day exclusive negotiations with Skydance. At its last closing price of $10.97, Paramount was valued at $7.44 billion, per LSEG data.

Paramount Global has lost more than $16 billion in value since it was formed through the reunion of CBS and Viacom in 2019. The company’s market capitalization fell below $10 billion in January.

(Reporting by Yuvraj Malik in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K)