Shares of Paramount climbed over 8% during Wednesday’s trading session after Allen Media Group founder Byron Allen made a $30 billion offer to acquire the media conglomerate.
According to Bloomberg, the offer, which Allen is said to have sent to Paramount’s board and senior management by text and email, proposes $28.58 for each of the company’s voting shares and $21.53 to buy non-voting shares. The deal would include the assumption of Paramount Global’s roughly $15 billion in debt.
“Mr. Byron Allen did submit a bid on behalf of Allen Media Group and its strategic partners to purchase all of Paramount Global’s outstanding shares. We believe this $30 billion offer, which includes debt and equity, is the best solution for all of the Paramount Global shareholders, and the bid should be taken seriously and pursued,” a representative for Allen said in a statement provided to TheWrap.
The outlet notes that Allen would plan to break the company up by selling Paramount’s film business and some intellectual property along with unspecified real estate holdings. He would keep the company’s television properties as well as the Paramount+ streaming service — which prior to the merger of Viacom and Paramount that created Paramount Global, was known as CBS All Access.
It’s currently unclear exactly how Allen would finance a potential takeover of Paramount.
The media mogul’s latest offer comes after he offered $3.5 billion to Paramount in December to acquire BET. Paramount began exploring a potential sale of BET last March, but would later reverse course.
In addition to Paramount, Allen offered $10 billion for ABC and Disney’s other linear TV assets in September after Disney CEO Bob Iger said that they “may not be core to the company.” At the time, he said raising capital for a potential deal would “not be an issue,” but that Iger told him he was not ready to sell. At an employee town hall in November, Iger suggested that the company’s TV assets were not for sale.
Allen Media Broadcasting owns and operates 28 ABC-CBS-FOX-NBC network affiliated broadcast television stations in 21 U.S. markets. In addition, the company has twelve 24-hour HD television networks serving nearly 300 million subscribers, including The Weather Channel, The Weather Channel En Español, Pets.TV, Comedy.TV, Recipe.TV, Cars.TV, ES.TV, MyDestination.TV, JusticeCentral.TV, TheGrio Television Network, ThisTV and Pattrn, and owns the streaming platforms such as HBCU Go, Sports.TV, TheGrio, and Local Now – a free ad,supported service powered by The WeatherChannel.
Allen isn’t the only one interested in Paramount.
Bloomberg reported that David Ellison’s Skydance Media has made a preliminary offer to acquire Paramount Global’s parent company National Amusements from the Redstone family as a way to take control, with both sides hiring advisers and exchanging financial information. Ellison and Paramount have also had discussions about merging Skydance’s film and TV studio into the media conglomerate.
A potential deal from Skydance, which could still fall apart, would be financed with help from its investors, which include the private equity firms RedBird Capital Partners and KKR, as well as Ellison’s father and Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison. According to CNBC, Skydance and its backers are exploring a deal that would take Paramount private.
Other parties that have expressed in Paramount’s assets include Warner Bros. Discovery, whose CEO David Zaslav met with Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish in December to discuss the potential for a merger of the two legendary Hollywood conglomerates, and Apollo Global Management, who has reportedly considered making an offer National Amusements and reached reached out to BDT & MSD Partners, the firm advising the Redstones.
In a memo to staff last week, Bakish said the company’s main priority for 2024 would be driving earnings growth by growing revenue while managing costs.
“As an industry, we’ve confronted a soft ad market, a volatile
macroeconomic environment and two historic strikes just in the last year. All while navigating the ongoing evolution of the streaming business, as industry sentiment and metrics for success continue to shift. And we’ve been on our own journey as a company — to realize the full potential of One Paramount as we transition our business from linear to streaming, and continue fine-tuning how we window and monetize our content,” Bakish wrote. “Amid all this change, it’s no surprise that Paramount remains a topic of speculation. We’re a storied public company in a closely followed industry. But I have always believed the best thing
we can do is concentrate on what we can control — execution. Leaning into what’s working, while continually adjusting to current realities.”
Moving forward, Paramount will focus on maximizing its content through efforts including licensing, turning its streaming division profitable by leaning further into the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia, and expanding its “shared services model” as it streamlines operations, resulting in a global workforce reduction.
The post Paramount Stock Climbs Over 8% After Byron Allen’s $30 Billion Bid appeared first on TheWrap.