Paramount bidders await word from special committee evaluating options

By Dawn Chmielewski

(Reuters) – A special committee of the Paramount Global board charged with evaluating offers for the company met Saturday morning, though rival bidders for the studio are awaiting word on next steps.

Paramount ended its exclusive negotiations with Skydance Media without a deal on Friday, allowing the special committee to entertain other offers for the home of “Mission: Impossible” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

Paramount’s special committee has yet to contact Sony Pictures Entertainment, which, together with private equity firm Apollo Global Management, sent a letter on Wednesday expressing interest in acquiring Paramount, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile David Ellison’s Skydance, which has been engaged for months in deal talks with Paramount and its controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, is evaluating its options, Reuters previously reported.

A spokesperson for the special committee could not be reached for comment.

Paramount, like other studios, has been struggling torecover from last year’s months-long strikes by Hollywoodwriters and actors, a soft advertising market and falling cablesubscriptions in the United States that has eroded profit forits TV business.

Its streaming service, Paramount+, also trails rivals suchas Netflix (NASDAQ:) and Disney+ in subscriber numbers – eventhough Redstone had hoped the merger of CBS and Viacom in 2019would help the combined company, later renamed Paramount Global,compete better.

Shares of Paramount have fallen more than 65% since then,losing more than $14 billion in market value.


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