Paramount & Skydance agree merger terms, with deal now in Shari Redstone’s hands

(Source: Alamy)

Paramount’s special committee of directors has reportedly recommended a revised offer from David Ellison’s Skydance Media, giving chair and controlling shareholder Shari Redstone the last word on whether to accept the offer.

According to the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal, the new offer from Skydance, which is backed by private equity outfits Redbird and KKR, would see less paid to Redstone’s National Amusements and more to other shareholders than the previous iteration, and has been backed by the special committee representing shareholders’ interests that must make a recommendation to the board.

The board will now vote on the deal at its meeting today.

According to weekend media reports, the revised deal, first details of which were reported last Thursday by the Wall Street Journal, will see non-voting shareholders receive $15 a share, a 26% premium on the company’s share price on Friday.

Redstone’s National Amusements controls 77% of Paramount’s voting shares, but only about 10% of its stock. The Skydance proposal would see the production outfit acquire that company first, before injecting cash into Paramount itself, which would then acquire Skydance.

Private equity outfit Apollo and Sony launched a $26bn rival bid two weeks ago, but this bid is seen as more likely to face regulatory hurdles.

According to the WSJ, Hollywood producer Steven Paul has also been putting together financing to make a $3bn offer for National Amusements.

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