Media mogul Byron Allen has formally presented a $14.3 billion acquisition bid for Paramount Global.
He reportedly offered $28.58 per voting share, 50% more than recent trading. The deal’s total value, including existing debt, is estimated at $30 billion, said Allen Media Group.
Sources told Bloomberg that Allen would sell off the Paramount film studio and keep the TV channels and Paramount+ streamer. A statement by Bloomberg News where the news was first reported, stated that the offer came from Allen Media Group and its strategic partners.
“Mr. Byron Allen did submit a bid on behalf of Allen Media Group and its strategic partners to purchase all of Paramount Global’s outstanding shares. We believe this $30 billion offer, which includes debt and equity, is the best solution for all of the Paramount Global shareholders, and the bid should be taken seriously and pursued,” Allen Media Group said.
With this offer, Allen joins a growing list of interested parties eyeing Paramount. David Ellison’s Skydance Media has been trying to acquire the company under Shari Redstone’s and her family’s control.
As of Tuesday, Paramount Global’s market cap stood at $9.13 billion. The company’s debt load is also over $15 billion. Like other traditional media giants, Paramount has struggled. Linear broadcast and cable assets have been a major profitability source for legacy Hollywood studios over the years. But its slow and steady decline and the rise of streaming platforms have affected returns.
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Paramount Global has steadily shed assets recently, including publishing group Simon & Schuster in 2022 and its MMA league Bellator late last year. Allen previously fielded a $3.5 billion bid for Paramount’s BET Networks and VH1 cablers.
After it quietly began shopping some of its more significant cable properties, Paramount has yet to bite on any reported offers made for BET.
Allen offered $18.5 billion for Paramount Global in April but was turned down because the company’s board expected the stock price to go up, reports The Wall Street Journal.
Paramount Global’s significant assets include Paramount Pictures, the Paramount+ with Showtime streaming service, CBS, Nickelodeon and MTV. Others are VH1, Comedy Central, BET Networks and international broadcasters such as the U.K.’s Channel 5 and Argentina’s Telefe.
More About Byron Allen
Allen is one of the wealthiest black men in entertainment. Embarking on his career in comedy at a young age, Allen left an indelible mark with a groundbreaking appearance on “The Tonight Show” at 18.
His diverse trajectory includes hosting NBC’s “Real People,” starring in the 1988 TV film “Case Closed,” and presiding over “The Byron Allen Show” from 1989 to 1992. In 1993, he founded the Allen Media Group, formerly CF Entertainment, specializing in cost-effective TV programming.
Strategic acquisitions like Freestyle Releasing in 2015 and TheGrio in 2016 accentuated the company’s growth. Notably, the acquisition of the Weather Channel from Comcast for $300 million in 2018 highlighted the group’s expansion.
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The privately held firm owns the Weather Channel, 27 local TV stations in small and medium-sized markets. It also owns lower-profile themed cable channels such as Cars.TV, Comedy.TV, Justice.TV and Pets.TV.
However, beyond acquisitions, Allen’s journey epitomizes a genuine commitment to dismantling barriers in the industry. He has won legal battles against racial discrimination and has filed lawsuits against AT&T, Comcast, and Charter Communications.
In 2021, he challenged McDonald’s, alleging the fast-food giant’s refusal to advertise with Black-owned media. The case persisted after McDonald’s unsuccessful attempt to dismiss the lawsuit.
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