Media tycoon Shari Redstone is in talks to sell controlling interesting in Paramount parent National Amusements to media and entertainment company Skydance, Puck and the New York Times reported Sunday.
On Friday, shares of Paramount Global Inc. rallied 13% after Deadline reported Skydance and private-equity firm RedBird Capital were kicking the tires on National Amusement, which has a 77% stake in Paramount.
According to the Times, Redstone — the daughter of late Paramount CEO Sumner Redstone — has held talks with Skydance in recent weeks, though the Times said it was unclear if a deal would be reached.
Skydance, which is led by David Ellison, son of Oracle founder Larry Ellison, is one of Hollywood’s top independent studios, and has produced Paramount blockbusters such as “Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning” and “Top Gun: Maverick.” RedBird is a financial backer of Skydance.
A sale would be a major reversal for Redstone, who waged a bitter battle for control of the company in 2016, and who later led the effort to merge CBS Corp. and Viacom, which led to the creation of the current Paramount Global.
Deadline had reported that Skydance would be more interested in Paramount’s IP and movie studio, and could look to sell its TV assets, including CBS.
A deal could signal the start of a major shakeup across the media industry, as traditional TV companies are struggling to make money in the streaming age. Comcast Corp.
which owns NBCUniversal, could be looking to expand, while Warner Bros. Discovery
could be a potential seller. Disney
CEO Bob Iger recently floated the idea of selling ABC, but quickly walked that back.
Paramount Global shares
have surged nearly 40% in the past month, but are still about flat year to date.