Paramount Global agrees to merge with Skydance: reports

Paramount Global agrees to merge with Skydance: reports
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Shari Redstone
Media heiress Shari Redstone has been in talks to sell her controlling stake in Paramount Global to Skydance Media since the beginning of the year, The New York Times reported.

  • Paramount Global’s board approved a merger with Skydance on Sunday, multiple outlets reported.
  • This marks the end of a tumultuous deal process and a new era for the troubled media giant.
  • Paramount earlier this year announced layoffs, signaling troubling times in the media landscape.

Paramount Global, the troubled media giant that owns CBS and Nickelodeon, has agreed to merge with David Ellison’s Skydance Media production company, according to multiple reports.

Two people familiar with the deal told The New York Times that Paramount’s board agreed to the merger on Sunday.

Spokespeople for Paramount and Skydance did not immediately return a request for comment from Business Insider.

The merger marks the end of a shaky dealmaking process and a new chapter for Paramount, which has faced headwinds amid a shifting media landscape.

Paramount has struggled in recent years to adapt to a generation of viewers going digital, as BI’s Peter Kafka previously noted. Even amid the digital shift, Paramount continued to make all of its profit in 2023 solely from traditional TV networks, according to Bloomberg.

In February, the company announced a layoff of 800 employees worldwide despite seeing record-number viewerships during Super Bowl LVIII across its networks and streaming platform, Paramount+.

The layoffs occurred shortly after Paramount became an acquisition target late last year. The company had discussed potential mergers with Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, producer Byron Allen, and private equity firm Apollo, among others.

But Shari Redstone, the media heiress who owns a controlling stake in Paramount Global through her holding company National Amusements, particularly preferred a deal with Skydance because the merger would keep Paramount intact, CNBC reported.

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Talks with the production studio — which helped make blockbuster hits like “Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol” and is owned by the son of Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison — have been ongoing since at least the beginning of the year, according to The Times.

While Redstone was drawn to a merger with Skydance, negotiations took several turns in the following months, with a deal nearly killed in June by Redstone’s lawyers, the Times reported.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the deal was revived on Tuesday when the Redstone family made a preliminary agreement to sell National Amusements to Skydance.

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