Shari Redstone ends talks with Skydance for Paramount merger, source says

By Dawn Chmielewski

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Media heiress Shari Redstone has ended talks with David Ellison’s Skydance Media, even as a special committee of the Paramount Global’s board was expected to meet to vote on a merger proposal, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

Redstone, Paramount’s controlling shareholder, had been expected to sell her family’s controlling stake in Paramount to Ellison as part of a $2.25 billion sale of the family’s holding company, National Amusements.

Redstone will now likely pursue a sale of just National Amusements, without trying to merge Paramount into another company, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

National Amusements, the private company that holds the Redstone family’s 77% of Paramount’s voting shares, has received interest from two parties – a consortium led by independent Hollywood producer Steven Paul, as well as Seagram heir Edgar Bronfman, who is backed by private equity firm Bain Capital.

A spokesperson for Paramount Global declined to comment. Skydance did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

National Amusements issued a statement saying it was unable to reach mutually acceptable terms with Skydance Media for the acquisition of a controlling stake in NAI.

A special committee of the board of Paramount Global met Tuesday to vote on whether to accept the proposal to merge with Skydance, Bloomberg News reported, citing two people familiar with the matter.

One of the five members of the special committee had been objecting to the proposed offer, the entertainment industry newsletter Puck reported.

(Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles and Zaheer Kachwala in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and David Gregorio)


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