What If Nobody Buys Paramount?

There has been increasing uncertainty amid dwindling possibilities for the sale of Paramount. The current scenario has ignited concerns among shareholders and directors alike.

It was previously assumed that David Ellison would purchase Shari Redstone's controlling stake in Paramount Global to acquire his Skydance. However, Redstone rejected Ellison's offer, as it involved selling the studio, a crown jewel of the company. She instead wanted to accept a bid from Byron Allen, which ultimately failed.

Apollo Global Management has been persistent in acquiring Paramount, recently offering $26 billion to purchase the company in its entirety. Despite Redstone's previous rejection of Apollo's offer to buy the studio, the current situation may compel her to reconsider. Sony's involvement in the deal makes it increasingly difficult to ignore.

The current situation casts uncertainty on the future of Paramount. The company is currently being led by an "Office of the CEO," a temporary solution following the removal of Bob Bakish, who reportedly stood in the way of a deal. Critics note that the company will require a new CEO in the long term.

It is worth noting that Warren Buffett, the company's largest non-voting shareholder, sold his $2.6 billion stake in the company. He expressed regret over the loss of money earned through the investment.

Analyst Ross Benes compares the situation to "rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic," steered by a family whose interests don't align with shareholders.

John Halley, ad sales chief for Paramount, disputes the narrative that linear television is dying. He argues that entertainment is digitally consumed, emphasizing that cable still works for reality TV.

Rich Greenfield of Lightshed argues that a Sony-Apollo deal looks unlikely and that Paramount will instead decide to go it alone under new management. He predicts that Paramount will wait until 2025 to reconsider a merger.

An industry source suggests that Charter needs to renew its carriage arrangement, and questions regarding Pluto TV and the distribution apparatus also need to be addressed.

Read more