Shares of Paramount Global popped in early trading after news that Byron Allen has offered a deal worth $30 billion to acquire the company, which has been in play since last fall.
The stock is up nearly 8% at $14.78 in a mostly down market. Rumor speculation has nudged the shares up from a 52-week low of $10.
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As Deadline reported, the media mogul and owner of The Weather Channel, who last year went after BET when that asset was on the table, has expanded his offer to take over the Shari Redstone-controlled company. He’s jumping into a hotbed of M&A chatter around Paramount, with David Ellison and Skydance already circling. Ellison is looking, however, at acquiring Redstone’s stake in National Amusements, not a direct takeout of Paramount Global. Some of Paramount Global shareholders haven’t been thrilled with the NAI route, which is over their heads and means they wouldn’t be getting a premium for their stock in the acquisition.
According to Allen Media Group’s statement overnight: “Mr. Byron Allen did submit a bid on behalf of Allen Media Group and its strategic partners to purchase all of Paramount Global’s outstanding shares. We believe this $30 billion offer, which includes debt and equity, is the best solution for all of the Paramount Global shareholders, and the bid should be taken seriously and pursued.”
Allen is said to be interested in the television assets and Paramount+. Ellison mainly wants the studio.
“Amid all this change, it’s no surprise that Paramount remains a topic of speculation. We’re a storied public company in a closely followed industry. But I have always believed the best thing we can do is concentrate on what we can control — execution,” Bakish wrote. Asked by about deal chatter by a staffer directly during his live appearance, Bakish acknowledged rival companies were “kicking tires,” which he called “a testament to the great work” done by the Paramount Global team,” he said in a staff memo.
Allen is said to have offered $28.58 for each Paramount voting share (mostly the Redstone/NAI stake) and $21.53 for each nonvoting share. The offer includes the assumption of Paramount’s circa $15 billion debt load, bringing the value of the deal to $30 billion.
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