Sony & Apollo Eye Paramount: A Power Move or Investor Risk?

Sony & Apollo Eye Paramount: A Power Move or Investor Risk?

Sony Group and Apollo Global Management are currently in talks to collaborate on a potential bid for Paramount Global, as sources revealed to The Post recently. Paramount, under the control of media heiress Shari Redstone, has been engaged in exclusive discussions with Skydance regarding a possible deal. However, this has sparked backlash from investors who are apprehensive about the dilution of their shares in the publicly traded media giant.

Despite the ongoing talks, Sony and Apollo have not yet officially presented an offer, according to a source familiar with the negotiations. The involvement of Shari Redstone, who holds sway over Paramount through her ownership in National Amusements, adds a significant dimension to the discussions happening behind closed doors.

The potential collaboration between Sony and Apollo aims at offering cash in exchange for Paramount shares and subsequently taking the company private. Notably, a $26 billion bid for Paramount from the private equity giant was previously rejected by Paramount’s board due to concerns over Apollo’s financing, as highlighted in earlier reports by The Post.

Sony, known for iconic franchises like ‘Spider-Man’ and ‘Ghostbusters,’ could play a crucial role in allaying these fears surrounding the deal, as indicated by sources cited in The New York Times. Tony Vinciquerra, the head of Sony Pictures Entertainment, reportedly met with representatives from Apollo to explore the prospects of a joint venture in the bid for Paramount.

Skydance, currently engaged in exclusive talks with Paramount, also harbors intentions of transitioning the company into private ownership. The independent film studio, led by David Ellison, has set its sights on acquiring Redstone’s significant stake in National Amusements for $2 billion.

However, not everyone is on board with these developments. Wall Street luminary Mario Gabelli, who holds a substantial portion of non-Redstone voting shares in Paramount, openly expressed his lack of support for either a Skydance or Apollo offer in a recent statement to The Post. This dissent from a key investor underscores the complex dynamics at play within the negotiations surrounding Paramount’s future.

As the dialogue between Sony, Apollo, and Paramount continues to unfold, the outcome of these talks could reshape the landscape of the entertainment industry. The willingness of major players to join forces in pursuit of a significant acquisition underscores the strategic maneuvers underway in the realm of media and entertainment. With shareholders closely monitoring these developments, the final decision regarding Paramount’s ownership structure remains eagerly anticipated, as it holds implications for the broader market and industry stakeholders alike.

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