Paramount Stock Tumbles As $11 Billion Studio Deal Falls Into Doubt, Report Says

Published 22 days ago
By Forbes | Brian Bushard
Los Angeles Economy
Paramount building in Los Angeles, United States on November 13, 2023. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

TOPLINE

After posting its best day on Wall Street in four months Wednesday, shares of Paramount Global fell Thursday after a report indicated the media conglomerate’s controlling shareholder might not be interested in a reported $11 billion deal for the company’s major film studio.

KEY FACTS

Shares of Paramount Global dropped as much as 5.9% in intraday trading Thursday to as low as $11.77, nearly erasing its Wednesday gains, when the company’s shares surged to a one-month high of nearly $13.

Thursday’s losses marked Paramount’s worst day on Wall Street in over two weeks, just one day after the conglomerate’s shares posted an 11.8% daily gain on the heels of a Wall Street Journal report indicating Apollo Global Management made an $11 billion offer for Paramount Pictures, valuing the studio even higher than Paramount Global’s $8.2 billion market cap.

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By Thursday morning, Paramount’s controlling shareholder Shari Redstone suggested she might not be interested in that offer, opting instead for a rival bid, anonymous sources told the Financial Times.

Sources told the Financial Times Redstone has been in negotiations with David Ellison on a separate bid from Ellison’s Skydance Media for a majority stake in Redstone’s holding company National Amusements, through which she controls a majority stake in Paramount.

KEY BACKGROUND

Paramount has had a series of setbacks in recent months, striking out on a deal with NBCUniversal owner Comcast and failing to land a deal with rival Warner Bros. Discovery that could have turned the burgeoning streaming wars on its head. Paramount had been engaged in merger talks with Warner Bros. Discovery, though the HBO parent company reportedly paused those negotiations last month. Last August, Paramount divested its publishing arm Simon & Schuster to private equity firm KKR in a $1.62 billion deal, culminating a two-year saga in which a previous deal to sell the publishing house fell after a Department of Justice antitrust lawsuit.

TANGENT

Paramount Pictures, on the other hand, has had a series of recent box office success stories, with major movies, including director Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” and the Tom Cruise action thriller “Mission: Impossible—Dead Reckoning Part One,” hitting it big. The former, an Academy Awards nominee for Best Picture, has grossed more than $157 million worldwide since its premiere last October, while the “Mission: Impossible” sequel has grossed more than $575.5 million since July, according to Box Office Mojo.

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FORBES VALUATION

Ellison, the son of Google co-founder Larry Ellison, could bring major funding to Paramount should the deal go through. We estimate Larry Ellison’s net worth at roughly $159.4 billion, making him the world’s fifth-richest person.