Skydance Media’s deal to gain control of Paramount could be sealed this weekend, sources say

By Dawn Chmielewski

(Reuters) – Skydance Media’s deal to acquire theater operator National Amusements, with its controlling interest in Paramount Global, could be finalized by Monday, sources familiar with the deal process said.

Parties are expected to work throughout the weekend to finalize the deal before Tuesday’s start of Allen & Co’s annual gathering of technology and media titans in Sun Valley, Idaho, which Paramount Global Chair Shari Redstone typically attends.

Skydance Media, an independent media company with interests in films, animation, television, video games and sports, has offered to pay $1.75 billion for National Amusements, the holding company that owns about 77% of the voting shares of Paramount. The preliminary deal was referred on Tuesday to a special committee of Paramount’s board, which is reviewing the offer.

The two-step acquisition would merge Ellison’s independent production company and the venerable Hollywood studio.

Skydance and National Amusements agreed to a 45-day go-shop period that would open the door to other interested bidders, said one source familiar with the deal terms.

The century-old Paramount Pictures is known for films such as “Titanic,” “The Godfather” and the “Transformers” franchise. Skydance has co-produced Paramount movies such as “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

Skydance CEO David Ellison, the son of Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, has spent months in pursuit of Paramount, a combination initially embraced by Redstone, daughter of late media tycoon Sumner Redstone, multiple sources said. She nixed the deal in early June after Skydance adjusted its offer to provide more money for other shareholders.

National Amusements re-engaged with Skydance over the past week, even as it continued conversations with other interested parties, one source familiar with the talks said.

CNBC was the first to report that the Skydance-National Amusements deal is expected to be completed this weekend.

(Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles; Editing by Richard Chang)