The offer, first reported by Bloomberg News, comes from Allen Media Group and unnamed “strategic partners,” according to a statement from Allen Media Group.
“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 sheres. 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.
A representative for Paramount Global declined to comment.
Allen Media Group will undoubtedly face an uphill climb in its pursuit of the storied studio. The company has been at the center of M&A speculation for months. David Ellison’s Skydance Media for several months has been circling a deal to take control of Paramount Global by acquiring the preferred voting shares owned by controlling shareholder Shari Redstone through holding company National Amusements Inc. Warner Bros. Discovery has also had at least one informal discussion with Paramount leadership about the possibility of a combination although those rumors have cooled in recent weeks.
As of Tuesday, Paramount Global’s market cap stood at $9.13 billlion and the company’s debt load is just over $15 billion. Paramount, like other traditional media giants, has struggled with the rise of streaming and the slow but steady decline of linear broadcast and cable assets that have long been the biggest source of profits for legacy Hollywood studios. Paramount has steadily shed assets in recent years, 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. Paramount has yet bite on any of the reported offers made for BET after it quietly began shopping some of its larger cable properties.
Allen Media Group’s public statement of an offer may have the effect of forcing Paramount Global and National Amusements to publicly address the steady stream of rumors around a possible transaction. It could also force the hand of prospective suitors for the entertainment conglomerate. To date, Paramount Global and NAI have made no public statements with any specificity about the Skydance talks or the approach by WB Discovery. Last week, Paramount Global CEO Bob Bakish acknowledged the market speculation in general terms in a memo to all employees. He noted that the company’s future “remains a topic of speculation” but he urged employees to stay focused. “But I have always believed the best thing we can do is concentrate on what we can control — execution.”
Paramount Global’s major assets include Paramount Pictures, the Paramount+ with Showtime streaming service, CBS, Nickelodeon, MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, BET Networks and international broadcasters such as the U.K.’s Channel 5 and Argentina’s Telefe. Paramount Global’s stock price closed Tuesday at $13.68, down 7 cents. The privately held Allen Media Group owns the Weather Channel, 27 local TV stations in small and medium-sized markets and lower-profile themed cable channels such as Cars.TV, Comedy.TV, Justice.TV and Pets.TV.