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Apollo Offered $27 Billion for Paramount Global but Bid Was Rebuffed

Private-equity giant Apollo Global Management made a $27 billion offer to acquire all of Paramount Global this week, sources familiar with the bid told Variety. However, the special committee set up by the Paramount Global board of directors to consider M&A options declined to engage with the bid.

Apollo submitted an all-cash bid on Sunday, March 31, to acquire Paramount Global in a deal worth more than $27 billion of total enterprise value, encompassing equity and debt, according to people familiar with the situation. That came after Apollo had offered $11 billion to buy Paramount Pictures alone, a bid that was also rebuffed by Paramount’s committee. Shari Redstone is Paramount’s controlling shareholder and president of National Amusements Inc., its parent company. But given the potential conflict of interest, Redstone is not a member of the board’s special committee.

NAI, Paramount Global and Apollo have declined to comment on the M&A talks.

Word of Apollo Global’s new bid for Paramount Global comes as Redstone entered into an exclusive negotiating period with David Ellison’s Skydance Media to sell her stake in National Amusements Inc. (and thereby pave the way for Skydance to merge with Paramount Global). NAI holds 77% of the voting shares in Paramount Global.

Redstone’s preference is for Paramount Global be sold as a whole, not in pieces. It’s not clear why the media company’s special committee would have not considered Apollo’s $27 billion bid for the entire company.

Variety reported Tuesday that Redstone and Skydance were close to establishing 30-day window for exclusive deal talks after months of discussions. NAI and Skydance have now entered into a provisional agreement covering such exclusive negotiations, likely with a basic outline of potential deal terms, according to sources.

Paramount Global’s market cap stood at $9.26 billion after the market closed Wednesday. The stock shot up 15% in the final hour of trading Wednesday amid a cascade of media reports that Redstone, National Amusements Inc. and Skydance are moving closer to a deal. Shares closed at $13.52.

Paramount Global’s assets include Paramount Pictures; the CBS network and owned local stations; cable networks including Comedy Central, BET, MTV and Nickelodeon; and the direct-to-streaming business housing Paramount+ and Pluto TV.

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