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Paramount Stock Rides Roller Coaster Back Down After Report That Shari Redstone Is “Unconvinced” By Apollo Offer For Studio

Paramount Global shares, which soared Wednesday on news that Apollo had made an $11 billion offer for Paramount Pictures, has slumped today after a report splashed cold water on the scenario.

Shares in the media company had dropped 5% by mid-day, to below $12, after the Financial Times reported that controlling shareholder Shari Redstone is “unconvinced” by the private equity offer. Apollo’s offer, which valued just the studio at more than the entirety of Paramount Global, pushed the stock up 12% on Wednesday. Redstone has long regarded the studio, which was a cherished asset of her father, Sumner Redstone, as the centerpiece for Paramount and a deal without the studio could be far trickier to engineer.

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Reps for Redstone and Paramount did not immediately respond to Deadline’s requests for comment.

Redstone, whose National Amusements controls more than three-quarters of the voting shares in Paramount, is looking more favorably on a competing offer from David Ellison’s Skydance Media. Already a co-financing partner with Paramount Pictures on a number of major film projects, Skydance has expressed interest in taking a majority stake in National Amusements as a step toward gaining control of Paramount Global. Ellison has backing from RedBird Capital, Tencent and KKR.

The Ellison option has been sweetened by the involvement of former CNN chief Jeff Zucker and ex-NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell with RedBird. Both execs could play a role in operating parts of the Paramount portfolio, notably the company’s broadcast and cable networks.

Paramount came into 2024 as the most likely player in legacy media to participate in an M&A deal. The company has also fielded offers from Byron Allen and a feeler from Warner Bros Discovery boss David Zaslav, though neither of those transactions is in an active state.

Redstone, who became non-executive chairwoman of ViacomCBS, later renamed Paramount Global, after the companies merged in 2019. Paramount stock has fallen to a fraction of its value at the time of the merger’s closing due to a number of challenges, most notably the company’s exposure to significant declines in the pay-TV business.

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