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Paramount Global Board Evaluates Bidders as Negotiations Progress

New York, May 05, 2024, The Europe Today: A special committee convened by the Paramount Global board convened on Saturday morning to deliberate on the array of offers flooding in for the esteemed studio. As rival bidders eagerly await updates on the next course of action, Paramount concluded its exclusive negotiations with Skydance Media on Friday, paving the way for the committee to explore alternative avenues for the home of iconic franchises such as “Mission: Impossible” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

According to reports from The New York Times on Sunday, Paramount’s special committee has greenlit preliminary discussions with both Sony and Apollo, signaling a potential shift in the company’s future trajectory. The bidding consortium, spearheaded by Sony and bolstered by private equity firm Apollo Global Management, is purportedly angling for Apollo to secure the coveted CBS broadcast license rights, sources familiar with the matter disclosed.

However, official confirmation from the Paramount special committee regarding the commencement of negotiations with Sony and Apollo remains pending, as a spokesperson declined to verify the report.

Despite the overtures from Sony and Apollo, the committee is yet to initiate contact with Sony Pictures Entertainment, despite receiving a joint expression of interest letter from the entertainment powerhouse and Apollo Global Management earlier in the week, according to insider sources.

In parallel, David Ellison’s Skydance, a long-standing contender in Paramount’s acquisition saga, is diligently evaluating its strategic options in the wake of the concluded negotiations, as previously reported by Reuters.

The studio landscape has proven to be a challenging terrain for Paramount and its counterparts, compounded by the lingering effects of last year’s protracted labor disputes within Hollywood, a sluggish advertising market, and a gradual decline in cable subscriptions across the United States, which has exerted pressure on the profitability of its television ventures.

Furthermore, Paramount’s streaming platform, Paramount+, faces stiff competition from industry juggernauts like Netflix and Disney+, grappling to carve out a substantial subscriber base. Despite initial hopes pinned on the 2019 merger of CBS and Viacom, subsequently rebranded as Paramount Global, to bolster its competitive stance, the company continues to grapple with market headwinds.

Reflecting the tumultuous landscape, Paramount’s shares have witnessed a precipitous decline, plummeting by over 65% since the merger, eroding more than $14 billion in market capitalization in the process. As the bidding war intensifies and negotiations progress, the fate of Paramount Global hangs in the balance, poised on the precipice of transformative change in the entertainment industry.