National Amusements ends Paramount merger talks with Skydance Media

June 11, 2024
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Merger discussions between National Amusements, which controls Paramount Global, and Skydance Media have ended without a deal.

The two companies “have not been able to reach mutually acceptable terms regarding the potential transaction with Skydance Media for the acquisition of a controlling stake in NAI,” National Amusements said in a statement to CBS News.

The announcement ends months of speculation that National Amusement’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, was orchestrating a merger between Paramount Global, the owner of the Paramount movie studio and of CBS News, and Skydance, an entertainment business founded by David Ellison, the son of Oracle founder Larry Ellison. 

The transaction would have brought an end to the Redstone family’s long stewardship of Paramount, which was built on the corporate foundation laid by her late father, entertainment mogul Sumner Redstone. 

However, Redstone is now reportedly pursuing a sale of National Amusements alone, rather than trying to also merge Paramount into another media business such as Skydance, according to a report Tuesday in the Wall Street Journal. Redstone controls National Amusements, which owns 77% of class A Paramount shares.

In the NAI statement, the company said it is supporting the strategic plan undertaken by Paramount’s Office of the CEO, which was created in April when former CEO Bob Bakish stepped down. The Office of the CEO is occupied by three Paramount Global executives: CBS CEO George Cheeks; Showtime/MTV Entertainment Studios and Paramount Media Networks CEO Chris McCarthy; and Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon CEO Brian Robbins. 

“NAI supports the recently announced strategic plan being executed by Paramount’s Office of the CEO as well as their ongoing work and that of the company’s board of directors to continue to explore opportunities to drive value creation for all Paramount shareholders,” the statement said. 

Skydance, a relative newcomer to the media industry founded by David Ellison in 2010, has produced or co-produced hit films and TV shows including “Top Gun: Maverick” and the “Reacher” series.

—With reporting by CBS News’ Jo Ling Kent.

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