Is Paramount’s Future Up for Grabs?

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While Paramount is one of the world’s leading producers of entertainment on and off the big screen – currently reaching billions in nearly every country across the globe – the mega company’s future is clouded in uncertainty heading into the new year.

All is not merry and bright for Paramount employees facing potential layoffs while the company seeks to reduce costs, as it considers eliminating more than 1,000 staffers in early 2024. Paramount currently hosts a team of 24,500 fulltime employees, according to a count reported at the end of 2022.

Paramount falls under the umbrella of parent company, National Amusements, owned by media mogul, Shari Redstone, who holds a controlling stake in Paramount Global – roughly a cool 77 percent of its voting shares. National Amusements also owns 10 percent equity in Paramount Global.

Redstone is reportedly looking to sell her shares in National Amusements, which would correspondingly surrender her controlling stake of Paramount to the buyer. Rumors hold she has been in talks with David Ellison, CEO of Skydance Media, and the Wall Street Journal reported a meeting with outgoing CEO of Activision, Bobby Kotick, exploring terms of a potential deal.

What does this mean to the rest of us? A sealed deal could foretell the divestiture of Paramount into numerous smaller pieces of the pie, with National Amusement splitting up Paramount Global’s various assets. According to Wells Fargo analyst, Steve Cahall, Paramount’s TV networks – which include CBS and 28 CBS local stations, Showtime, cable networks such as MTV, Nickelodeon, and Comedy Central, as well as its streaming service, Pluto TV – would garner $13.5 billion in equity if divested.

Paramount’s remaining businesses such as Paramount Pictures, CBS Studios, and individual productions such as Yellowstone, could add up to another $19 billion in value or $23 per share.

The industry newsletter, Puck, was first to report that Redstone was in talks with Skydance and private equity firm, RedBird Capital, but no official statement has come from representatives of Paramount Global or Skydance so far.

What then will become of Paramount and how will the ripple effect be felt? It seems for now, we will just have to stay tuned. Read more here.

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