Byron Allen, the owner of the Weather Channel and Local Now, has offered to buy BET from Paramount for $3.5 billion. This deal would be for BET Media Group and would include VH1, BET Studios, and the streaming service BET+, according to a report from Variety.
Byron Allen reportedly offered $2.7 billion over the summer, but Paramount decided not to sell. Now he is increasing his offer, according to reports.
This news comes as it was reported earlier today that Paramount is in talks with multiple potential buyers, including BET Chief Executive Officer Scott Mills and Chinh Chu, a former Blackstone Inc. member. The deal will reportedly be for just under $2 billion. It looks like Byron Allen is trying to outbid all other possible buyers.
Originally this deal would reportedly include BET cable networks, BET+, a subscription streaming service, and BET studios. VH1 is now also managed by BET and would reportedly be included in this deal. Now though, it is unknown if VH1 will be a part of this new deal.
Paramount in the past, was reportedly interested in a minority stake but is likely looking for ways to cut back on expenses and earn cash to pay down its debts. It is unknown if this deal will still include a minority stake in the channel.
Paramount also recently agreed to sell Simon & Schuster to KKR for $1.6 billion, but regulators killed the deal. Paramount also sold the classic CBS NYC headquarters known as Black Rock and a large number of websites back in 2020.
For now, we will have to wait to see if Paramount will accept any of these offers. Or if like this summer if Paramount will decide, they believe it would be more profitable to keep the networks vs selling them.
Correction: We updated the story with the correct sale details on Simon & Schuster.