April 24, 2024

Private equity firm Apollo Global Management reportedly made an $11 billion offer to pry away Paramount Global’s Hollywood studio, Paramount Pictures, from the rest of media heiress Shari Redstone’s debt-saddled company.

The stunning offer comes as an independent committee of the company’s board of directors reviews a competing bid from Skydance Media for all of Paramount Global — which also owns CBS, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and the Paramount+ streaming service, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

A rep from Paramount Global declined to comment.

Apollo, which has $512 billion of assets under management, did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.

Apollo, led by Marc Rowan, also reached out to a special committee formed by Paramount about a possible takeover or asset purchases, Axios News had reported earlier in March.

Paramount Pictures, the studio behind such flicks as Top Gun: Maverick, “Mission Impossible 8,” and A Quiet Place,” was also of interest to Netflix over the past few years, The Journal reported.

Redstone — the media conglomerate’s controlling shareholder through her stake in parent company National Amusements — has been reluctant to part with the crown jewel of the company.

But under financial pressure, Redstone — who last month sold off a chunk of National Amusement real estate holdings in a scramble to make a $40 million debt payment, as The Post reported — may agree to break up the company to accept the Apollo bid.

Apollo’s $11 billion offer is more than the entire market capitalization of Paramount Global, which is currently around $7.7 billion.

Paramount’s shares rose 10% after the Wall Street Journal first reported the news.

The studio business is a draw for investors, given its expansive library that includes “The Godfather” and “Indiana Jones” and the demand for programming in the streaming industry.

At the same time, Paramount’s revenue from its TV networks — including BET, MTV and CBS — continues to decline because of cord cutting.

The deterioration of the global entertainment business has wiped out billion of dollars of value from the media company, formed through the hard-fought reunion of CBS and Viacom in 2019.

Redstone, the daughter of the late media mogul Sumner Redstone, considers the media asset as undervalued by investors and is exploring its options.

Last month, the company reported overall fourth-quarter revenue of $7.64 billion, missing analysts’ estimate of $7.85 billion, according to LSEG data.

The bid from Skydance Media, the production company run by David Ellison, would take Paramount private. Ellison is the son of billionaire Larry Ellison, the co-founder of Oracle, who is expected to help finance the deal. 

The financial terms for that offer were not made public.

Paramount has also held discussions with media giant Warner Bros. Discovery about a merger, and has discussed a streaming partnership or joint venture with Comcast, The Wall Street Journal reported last month.

Media entrepreneur Byron Allen had submitted a $30 billion offer for Paramount Global, including debt and equity, Allen Media Group had said in an emailed statement to Reuters late in January.