Sony signs NDA to review Paramount’s books as acquisition process drags on

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Amid the ongoing saga to try to find a buyer for Paramount Global comes word that Sony has signed a non-disclosure agreement allowing it to delve deeper into the company’s records.

Sony, along with Apollo Global Management, presented a white knight all-cash offer for the company after Paramount’s exclusivity window with Skydance Media expired May 3, 2024. That offer was $26 billion.

The NDA will presumably allow the two companies to dig deeper into talks and will allow Sony and Apollo to look into Paramount’s financials and other records. 

If it likes what it sees, it could move forward with more formal talks and a solid deal, but there is also the possibility, like with any due diligence review, that such a review could reduce the offer or kill the deal entirely, though there has been no indication of that happening with this specific deal.

Sony signing the NDA ended up taking a bit longer than many suspected, which some read as waning interest in Paramount.

Sony is reportedly most interested in the Paramount Studios assets that the company owns, presumably to merge with its own studio operations. It reportedly would then look for ways to sell off the company’s other assets, which could include CBS, MTV, VH1, BET and more, though not decisions have been made about potential divestitures. 

Skydance and its partner RedBird Capital may still in the mix, though it’s not clear how talks are proceeding, if at all. 

An initial deal with Skydance was widely derided by shareholders because its complex structure would end up benefiting select shareholders, mainly Shari Redstone. Skydance submitted a revised offer that has not closed. 

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A Skydance deal may be more appealing to Redstone, who reportedly does not wish to see her father’s company chopped up and sold off. Skydance reportedly wants to keep the conglomerate together, at least for the time being, while also giving some cash to pay off debt. 

Any potential deal would be subject to regulatory review.

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