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Paramount Global Merges with Skydance Media in Blockbuster $28 Billion Deal

Paramount Global, a storied name in Hollywood, has agreed to merge with the independent film studio Skydance Media. This landmark merger, valued at approximately $28 billion (£21.9 billion), signifies a major shift in the entertainment industry.

Shari Redstone, Paramount’s non-executive chair, will sell her family’s controlling stake in the company as part of the deal. This transaction concludes an era for the Redstone family, whose late patriarch, Sumner Redstone, built a vast media empire from a chain of drive-in cinemas. Paramount’s extensive media portfolio includes television networks such as CBS, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and MTV.

Expressing optimism about the merger, Shari Redstone stated, “Our hope is that the Skydance transaction will enable Paramount’s continued success in this rapidly changing environment.”

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Paramount’s TV channels have a global reach of over 4.3 billion subscribers across more than 180 countries. The merger will bring together Paramount, known for classics like “Chinatown” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” with Skydance, its financial partner on recent blockbusters such as “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

Under the agreement, Skydance will invest around $8 billion in Paramount, including $2.4 billion for National Amusements, the firm controlling the group behind CBS and MTV. Although National Amusements owns just 10% of Paramount Group’s shares, it accounts for nearly 80% of its voting rights. Paramount aims to finalize the deal by the summer of next year.

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Founded in 1914, Paramount Global traces its origins back over a century. The studio has produced numerous hit films, including the “Godfather,” “Star Trek,” and “Mission: Impossible” series. However, the entertainment giant has faced challenges over the past decade, with its shares falling by more than 75% in the last five years.

Skydance, owned by David Ellison, son of Oracle founder Larry Ellison, enters this merger following eight months of negotiations. During this period, Redstone engaged with several potential partners, including Sony and private equity firm Apollo. In April, Paramount’s chief executive Bob Bakish left the company after clashing with Redstone over the planned Skydance deal.

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The merger comes amid a transformative period for the global entertainment industry, driven by the video-streaming revolution.

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