Paramount Global, a titan in the entertainment sector, is reportedly on the verge of replacing its CEO Bob Bakish as it navigates toward a potential merger with Skydance Media. With the backing of media heiress Shari Redstone and her firm National Amusements, Paramount Global could see changes at the helm to an interim ‘Office of the CEO’ composed of division heads. Bakish, who has expressed skepticism about the merger strategy, might be sidelined despite his contributions, including the creation of streaming platform Paramount+ and the acquisition of Pluto TV. The company’s market value has dropped significantly. Paramount and Skydance are hashing out a deal that could value the privately-held Skydance at about $5 billion and involve a recapitalization that includes raising new equity and paying down debt. Challenges include Skydance’s request for extending exclusive talks due to due diligence delays and the competition from potential bidders like Apollo Global and Sony. Shareholders, including Mario Gabelli, are skeptical about the merger’s terms, particularly in relation to the distribution of ownership between Skydance, its private equity partners, and Paramount’s common shareholders. The complexities of the potential merger highlight issues of leadership, shareholder value, and strategic direction for the future of the company.

Entertainment & Media, Private Equity,United States