Logos for Paramount Global and Skydance Media. Logos for Paramount Global and Skydance Media.

Reports of the end of Skydance Media’s attempt to take over CBS parent Paramount Global may have been premature. In April, it came out that those companies were in exclusive merger talks. But those talks hit several snags, and Paramount Global controlling shareholder Shari Redstone (who holds that controlling stake through her National Amusements company) nixed the deal in early June. However, Tuesday saw reports that Skydance has now struck a deal with National Amusements that’s expected to give them control of Paramount Global (but still comes with provisions allowing the company to look for other suitors):

Here’s more on that from that Variety piece from Cynthia Littleton:

In a holiday week shocker, Skydance Media and Shari Redstone’s National Amusements Inc. have quietly renewed acquisition talks and have reached a tentative agreement to acquire Paramount Global.

That deal will now be reviewed by Paramount Global’s special committee of its board of directors that has steered the media giant through its roller-coaster ride of M&A activity and speculation since late last year. The new pact with David Ellison’s Skydance Media and Gerry Cardinale’s RedBird Capital is believed to include a 45-day period in which Paramount and NAI, which owns Redstone’s controlling share in Paramount, have the right to shop around for a bidder to match the Skydance terms.

…The 45-day window for Paramount and NAI to seeking a superior bid may be an artful solution to the impasse over Redstone’s push for a common shareholder vote. From Skydance’s perspective, the reason to engage with NAI in its pursuit of Paramount was to take advantage of the fact that Redstone’s NAI has iron-clad control of the company. But from Redstone’s view, the Skydance deal was likely to be bound up in costly litigation for months while the company would likely struggle amid the uncertainty.

There have been other companies reportedly interested in Paramount Global as well, especially Sony (with backing from hedge fund Apollo Global). So this is far from a done deal, especially with that 45-day window, and especially with Redstone pulling out of the previous Skydance deal in June.

But it is certainly notable to see these talks back on. And that may offer some reassurance to leagues that have contracts with CBS and have expressed worries about the corporate uncertainty here. Those include the NFL. So it would definitely be useful for many involved with CBS to see a resolution of one sort or another to this long and tumultuous saga.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.