Paramount Stock Pops After Apollo Bid for Film and TV Studio

Shares in Paramount Global soared on Wednesday after details of an acquisition proposal by the private equity firm Apollo became public.

Paramount stock closed at $12.51 per share Wednesday, up nearly 12 percent for the day.

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The Wall Street Journal reported that Apollo made an $11 billion offer just for Paramount’s film and television studio. That is higher than the company’s $7.7 billion market cap when the story was published, and the deal reportedly does not include Paramount’s other business lines, like CBS, BET or the former Viacom cable channels.

Paramount’s market cap after the stock surge was about $8.6 billion.

The fate of Paramount has been the talk of Hollywood in recent months, with a number of potential bidders circling the company, as well as National Amusements, the Redstone family company that has a controlling stake.

Gerry Cardinale of RedBird Capital and David Ellison of Skydance have held talks with National Amusements about buying that company (and thus gaining control of Paramount), while Byron Allen made a very public $14 billion bid for the entire company, albeit without financing details.

Apollo’s bid is likely to be taken more seriously, with financing unlikely to be a problem. The question is what to do with the remaining businesses: Will there be buyers for the linear TV networks or Paramount+? Perhaps Warner Bros. Discovery would make a play for CBS?

In other words, the Apollo deal is likely to apply pressure on anyone else interested in the company, and on Shari Redstone to decide what to do with her family’s legacy.

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