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Paramount, Skydance Circling Exclusivity Talks in Acquisition Deal | Report

Getty Images/Chris Smith for TheWrap

Paramount and Skydance are coming closer to striking an acquisition deal, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Following January reports from Bloomberg that Skydance Media CEO David Ellison made a preliminary offer to acquire National Amusements from the Redstone family as a way to take control of Paramount Global, Ellison met with Paramount’s board of directors late last month, the Times confirmed with four individuals familiar with the meeting.

The two are now discussing entering into exclusivity talks as the road to deal begins to take shape.

Paramount and National Amusement declined comment to TheWrap. Skydance did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request.

Skydance has been a major partner for Paramount since first entering a cofinancing, production and theatrical distribution deal in 2009. Skydance has served as a coproducer on studio film franchises such as “Star Trek,” “Mission: Impossible,” and “Transformers” and produced the 2022 film “Top Gun: Maverick,” which became Paramount’s highest grossing box office hit since “Titanic.”

Skydance is not the only potential bidder circling Paramount. This past month, investment firm Apollo Global Management submitted an $11 billion offer to acquire Paramount’s movie studio, though the company is said to be seeking a bidder that will acquire Paramount’s entire portfolio rather than just divisions.

After years of struggling at the box office, Paramount’s film division has seen a recent reversal of fortune under studio CEO Brian Robbins and copresidents Daria Cercek and Michael Ireland, with the $1.3 billion domestic total posted by the studio in 2022 standing as its first $1 billion-plus year since 2014.

The company’s streaming service, Paramount+, is in the midst of a push towards profitability with 67.5 million subscribers reported last quarter. The service lost $490 million in Q4 of 2023 but is projected by the company to start turning a profit in 2025.

Paramount’s stock has taken a small bump to just under $12/share in after-hours trading upon news of the talks with Skydance. The stock price is down 18% year-to-date amidst a larger downturn for media companies in 2024.

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