Earlier this month, we learned that Warner Bros. Discovery and Skydance Media are both in talks to buy a majority control of Paramount. Now, the New York Post has reported that Shari Redstone, the majority owner of Paramount, will sell her controlling stake of Paramount in an auction to the highest bidder.
With the news of the auction, Apollo Global Management is reportedly one of the massive companies that is interested in placing a bid to buy National Amusements, which owns the majority of Paramount, according to Bloomberg. Apollo is not new to owning media companies as it once AMC Theaters back in the early 2000s. It was also owner of Chuck E. Cheese’s until 2020, along with 100s of other companies.
Currently, Paramount Global is controlled by media executive Shari Redstone through her Natioanl Amusements company. Redstone, who controls National Amusements, which owns 77% of Paramount’s voting shares, reportedly plans to sell the company at auction. Selling this share will give the new owner control over Paramount.
The talks are still in the early stages for both companies, and they may now have to deal with multiple investment firms, according to the report from the New York Post. This comes as Warner Bros. Discovery is also interested in purchasing Paramount. Last month, Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish and Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav met to talk about a possible merger.
Talks with Skydance and Warner Bros. Discovery are both in the early phases and could easily fall apart, especially with investment firms now possibly driving up the price of Paramount. No date for an auction has been revealed, but bankers have reportedly started the process of sharing details about Paramount with potential bidders.
Any new owner of National Amusements would control Paramount’s cable TV networks, which include Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, and multiple movie theaters.
The news comes as the entertainment industry faces difficult times with cable TV viewership is declining and a majority of streamers struggling to achieve profitability. Paramount’s streaming service, Paramount+, is among the companies fighting to stay afloat. The question now seems not whether Paramount will be sold but to who.