Paramount Global and Skydance Media Announce Historic Merger

Paramount Global and Skydance Media Announce Historic Merger

Paramount Global, a venerable entity in Hollywood, has announced a landmark merger agreement with independent film studio Skydance Media, marking a pivotal moment in the entertainment industry.

Under the terms of the deal, Shari Redstone, Paramount’s non-executive chair, will divest her family’s controlling interest in a complex transaction. This strategic merger is set to create a new conglomerate valued at approximately $28 billion (£21.9 billion), reshaping the landscape of global media.

The move signifies a significant shift for the Redstone family, whose late patriarch, Sumner Redstone, transformed a chain of drive-in theaters into a sprawling media empire. Paramount Global, part of this legacy, includes renowned television networks such as CBS, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and MTV.

Ms. Redstone expressed optimism about the merger, stating, “Our hope is that the Skydance transaction will enable Paramount’s continued success in this rapidly changing environment.”

The merger will integrate Paramount, celebrated for iconic films like Chinatown and Breakfast at Tiffany’s, with Skydance Media, its financial partner on recent blockbuster releases such as Top Gun: Maverick and Star Trek Into Darkness.

As part of the agreement, Skydance will inject approximately $8 billion into Paramount, including a $2.4 billion payment to acquire National Amusements, the controlling entity of the group. Despite holding only a 10% stake in Paramount Global’s shares, National Amusements wields nearly 80% of its voting power.

Paramount anticipates finalizing the merger by the summer of the following year, ushering in a new era for the storied studio. Paramount Global, tracing its origins back over a century to the founding of Paramount Pictures Corporation in 1914, boasts a rich history of producing cinematic masterpieces, including The Godfather, Star Trek, and Mission: Impossible franchises.

However, the entertainment giant has encountered challenges in recent years, with Paramount Global’s shares declining by more than 75% over the past five years. This merger represents a strategic maneuver to navigate the evolving entertainment landscape and position Paramount Global for renewed growth and innovation in the years ahead.