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HomeEntertainmentParamount to merge with Skydance following $8 billion deal

Paramount to merge with Skydance following $8 billion deal

Paramount and Skydance are officially merging. The merger was approved by Paramount’s board on Sunday, July 7, paving the way for David Ellison’s Skydance and RedBird Capital Partners to acquire National Amusements, the controlling shareholder of Paramount. This deal, valued at $8 billion, includes a $1.5 billion cash infusion to help alleviate Paramount’s $14 billion debt according to Deadline.

Ellison, now Paramount Global’s CEO and chairman, is joined by former NBCUniversal boss Jeff Shell as president. Key leadership roles will also be filled by RedBird CEO Jeff Zucker and Skydance’s creative chief Dana Goldberg.

“This is a defining and transformative time for our industry and the storytellers, content creators, and financial stakeholders who are invested in the Paramount legacy,” Ellison remarked. “We are committed to energizing the business and bolstering Paramount with contemporary technology, new leadership, and a creative discipline that aims to enrich generations to come.”

Shari Redstone, Chair of Paramount Global, reflected on her father Sumner Redstone’s legacy, emphasizing that “content was king.” She expressed optimism that the merger with Skydance would fortify Paramount’s future, noting Skydance’s proven strategic vision and resources.

Paramount Global’s portfolio includes Paramount Pictures, CBS, Paramount+, Pluto TV, and cable channels like Nickelodeon and MTV. The merger consolidates the successful collaboration between Paramount and Skydance, which has produced hits like Top Gun: Maverick and the Mission: Impossible series.

The merger still awaits regulatory approval and a 45-day period for potential counterbids. This development concludes a fraught period of M&A activity, during which National Amusements owner Shari Redstone previously walked away from an earlier deal with Skydance.

Skydance brings with it an animation department led by former Pixar head John Lasseter and a gaming division known for Marvel and Star Wars titles. The combined entity aims to leverage Skydance’s financial resources and technology with Paramount’s IP and film library to create a premier destination for storytellers.

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