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Apollo Global Management Eyes Paramount Bid | Report

Private equity firm Apollo Global Management has “reached out” to Paramount Global about a possible buyout or purchase of some of its holdings, Axios reported Tuesday.

The company faces competition, including a bid from Byron Allen, who in January offered to buy Paramount Global for $14 billion. The entertainment conglomerate’s parent, National Amusements, has also gotten an offer from David Ellison’s Skydance Media in a bid that was backed by rival private equity firms RedBird Capital Partners and KKR.

Warner Bros. Discovery also reportedly considered buying some or all of the entertainment conglomerate’s assets, but backed off last month.

The report said Apollo is looking at a deal only with Paramount, which would involve Paramount Pictures, the CBS network, along with Comedy Central, BET and other Viacom cable networks and the streaming services Paramount+ and PlutoTV.

“It’s also possible that Apollo could wind up bidding only on select assets,” Axios reported, citing two sources familiar with the matter.

Paramount declined to comment on the report to TheWrap.

Shares of Paramount Global initially jumped about 5% on the report, but the gains quickly disappeared. The stock was trading down 5 cents to 11.57, down nearly 20% since the start of the year, in late morning.

Apollo has long invested in news and entertainment companies, including purchasing “American Idol” owner CKx in 2011. It also has or previously held interests in Barnes & Noble, Cox Media Group, Legendary Entertainment, Redbox, Sirius Satellite Radio. It also bought Yahoo Inc. from Verizon in 2021.

In 2022, it eyed a joint bid for Starz with Roku, but the deal never happened.

Its majority stake in Cox Media could present a regulatory challenge if Apollo aims to buy CBS’s local broadcast stations, Axios noted.

Debt-laden Paramount is under pressure to find a partner or buyer as it struggles to make its streaming service profitable while traditional advertising revenue slides.

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