Sony and Apollo move ahead with Paramount bid process but reticent about earlier plan, NYT reports

By Thomson Reuters May 17, 2024 | 10:16 PM

(Reuters) – Sony Pictures Entertainment and Apollo Global Management have signed nondisclosure agreements that will allow them to look at Paramount’s books ahead of a potential bid for the movie studio’s assets, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The companies are, however, backing away from an initial plan to make an all-cash $26 billion offer for Paramount, the newspaper said.

Reuters reported this month that Paramount was in talks to open its books to a consortium of the Sony movie unit and the U.S. buyout firm. CNBC later reported that Sony was rethinking its bid, sending Paramount’s shares tumbling and helping the Japanese firm’s shares surge after upbeat earnings.

Sony and Apollo are now contemplating a variety of approaches to acquire Paramount’s assets, the New York Times said.

Paramount declined to comment on the report, while Sony and Apollo did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Friday.

Like other studios, Paramount has been struggling to recover from last year’s months-long strikes by Hollywood writers and actors, a soft advertising market and falling cable subscriptions in the United States which have eroded profits for its TV business.

Paramount has also been talking with Skydance Media but earlier this month ended a period of exclusivity in the negotiations.

(Reporting by Mrinmay Dey in Bengaluru; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)