Paramount edges closer to deal with Skydance

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The future of Paramount Pictures looks like it might sit with Skydance as things stand: more on the story here.

The process of trying to sell Paramount Global has been a long and drawn-out one for its parent company National Amusements, but most speculators agree that 2024 will be the year when the company changes ownership. This isn’t the same as Disney’s 2019 purchase of 20th Century Fox when the House of Mouse swooped in with a hefty $70bn. That deal certainly wasn’t as drawn-out as Paramount’s search for a new owner.

While some may feel that Disney overpaid somewhat to acquire its Hollywood rival, here in 2024 we’re in a completely different economic environment, and as such, no suitors have swept in to shower Paramount Global in excessive amounts of cash. Instead, companies seem wary about taking on Paramount’s varied assets, with lots of them (such as its cable TV business) not looking like long-term winners.

Still, there’s plenty of potential upside in Paramount Pictures, and one executive who might know how to harness its potential is David Ellison. The head of Skydance Media has partnered his company with Paramount to produce some of the studio’s biggest tentpole hits of the last few years, including Top Gun: Maverick and the Mission: Impossible films.

There was a $11bn offer for Paramount Global from private equity firm Apollo Global Management last month, but Skydance Media has never been far from the conversation when it comes to the acquisition of Paramount. According to reports circulating in Hollywood, a deal between the two companies could now be edging closer.

The New York Times (via Screen Daily) reports that Paramount Global parent National Amusements might be about to open an exclusive negotiating window with Skydance Media.

Skydance is believed to have put an offer in for the company a couple of months ago and if these reports are true, we could be moving into the endgame with the two companies just needing to iron out the finer details ahead of an acquisition or merger.

This will likely result in comprehensive layoffs, as this usually seems to be the case when these mergers happen. But at the very least, should this deal come to fruition, the company behind the acquisition seem interested in restoring Paramount Pictures to its full potential as one of Hollywood’s major film studios.

We’ll bring you more on this one as we hear it, but it promises to be a story that will rumble on throughout much of this year.

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