Paramount Global has scrapped plans to sell its majority stake in BET Media Group, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday night.
told bidders Wednesday that it was ending the sale process after concluding that a sale would not significantly deleverage its balance sheet, according to the Journal.
Bidders for the media group, which includes cable channels BET and VH1 and streaming service BET+, reportedly included billionaire actor/producer Tyler Perry, rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs and a group led by former basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, writer/producer Kenya Barris and rapper 50 Cent, with bids said to range from around $2 billion to about $3 billion.
Paramount, which also owns CBS, MTV and Nickelodeon, has been looking to offload some assets as it shifts its focus to its flagship streaming service, Paramount+, which merged with Showtime earlier this year. Earlier this month, Paramount sold publishing house Simon & Schuster to private equity firm KKR.
Paramount shares are down 11% year to date and have sunk 43% over the past 12 months, while the S&P 500
has risen 15% this year and is up 3% over the past year.