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May 26, 2024
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Paramount Stock Climbs On Report Of Apollo Interest In Bid For National Amusements – Deadline

The Offer is the name of a series on Paramount+. Now, it could be the logline for Paramount Global.

National Amusements, Inc., the Shari Redstone-led company that owns the majority of voting shares in Paramount Global, is reportedly fielding interest from another entity mulling an acquisition offer. Apollo Global Management is among the wealthy individuals and companies that have contacted the investment bank advising NAI, BDT & MSD Partners, according to Bloomberg.

NAI owns a portfolio of movie theaters as well as nearly 80% of voting shares. As with recently discussed scenarios involving Skydance Media and RedBird Capital, the Apollo deal would be a route to gain control of Paramount, though the voting shares owned by NAI do not represent a majority of the economic value of the company, only most of its voting class of shares.

Redstone, who spent years gaining control of Viacom and CBS, withstanding legal challenges and objections from critics including her own father, the late Sumner Redstone, has been more willing than ever to entertain offers. Paramount, which was formed when Viacom and CBS reunited in 2019, has struggled due to pay-TV cord-cutting, a soft ad market, a loss-producing streaming operation and volatility in the movie business. While its namesake film studio has had its share of hits, including last weekend’s Mean Girls, the broader company does not have the scale of many media rivals. With its stock worth less than half of what it was when the merger closed, Redstone reportedly is open to turning the page if the right offer comes along.

Paramount shares perked up late in the trading day Friday on the report of Apollo’s interest, rising 2% to close at $13.40.

Apollo is one of the more active private equity players in media, with stakes in companies like Dune producer Legendary Entertainment, Peter Chernin’s North Road, Cox Media Group and Yahoo. It has also been a player in the TV station sector, taking part in the proposed takeover of Tegna by Standard General, which was ultimately quashed by regulators.

Reps from Paramount and National Amusements did not immediately respond to Deadline’s request for comment.

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