Updated Apr 3, 2024 - Business

Paramount, Skydance said to enter exclusive merger talks

Skydance Media CEO David Ellison

Skydance Media CEO David Ellison. Photo: Kevin Winter/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

Paramount and Skydance have entered into exclusive merger discussions, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the situation.

Why it matters: This brings a sale of Paramount a step closer and would end months of intrigue around the future of Shari Redstone's media empire.

Zoom in: Later on Wednesday, the Journal reported that Apollo Management had offered to buy Paramount for $26 billion. Paramount is focused on the Skydance talks and is pausing talks with other bidders, the paper said.

  • Apollo had previously offered $11 billion for just the Paramount film and TV studio, the Journal reported last month. The $26 billion would be for the entire company.
  • A separate report from Bloomberg on Wednesday afternoon said that Redstone had "reached a tentative agreement" with Skydance on a deal, though no price was mentioned.
  • A representative for Skydance did not immediately respond for comment, while Paramount declined to comment.

Between the lines: Skydance Media would fund the potential deal with help from Skydance investors including RedBird Capital and KKR.

  • Skydance CEO is David Ellison, the son of Oracle founder Larry Ellison.

Catch up quick: National Amusements, the Redstone family business that controls 80% of Paramount's voting power, began talking with Skydance back in December.

  • Those talks first centered around Skydance buying a controlling stake in National Amusements, which would have given them power over Paramount.
  • Paramount also held brief talks with Warner Bros. Discovery.
Go deeper