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Paramount Global Stock Pops On Apollo’s Reported $11 Billion Bid For Studio

Shares of Paramount Global popped in afternoon trade on a report that Apollo Global has made an $11 billion bid for the company’s film and TV studio. The private equity giant has been in and out of the mix of suitors, which also include David Ellison’s Skydance Media and Byron Allen.

The stock heading into market close is up over 11% at $12.48 in heavier than usual volume. That’s still half of where it was a year ago as the company battles streaming losses and high debt. It’s been a takeover target for months now without any deal.

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The WSJ cited people familiar with the situation saying the board is reviewing the Apollo offer. Deadline has heard that Ellison has fielded a bid for the whole company but no details. There’s been speculation out there by some industry sources that Larry Ellison would never back a money-losing proposition such as Paramount. After all, Larry Ellison did clip the wings of Megan Ellison’s Annapurna after it was bleeding. However, that’s a hasty generalization: the Oracle co-founder, we hear, is completely in step with David Ellison, and he’s always about a good deal in the end.

Par’s majority shareholder Shari Redstone hasn’t wanted to pluck out and sell off the studio, its crown jewel.

Skydance Media has offered a deal through Paramount Global’s parent, National Amusements — Redstone’s family holding company —  that controls the media company.

That’s complicated since as minority shareholders, who happen to include Warren Buffett and Mario Gabelli, are antsy about not getting taken out for a premium in a deal, while Shari is. Allen’s offer, for instance, calls for transactions at set prices for Paramount’s voting and non shareholders.

The Bob Bakish-led company has said it will entertain all offers. Meanwhile, its retrenching, including a big round of layoffs recently. It’s also divesting non-core assets, including the sale of Viacom18 to India’s Reliance Group for $517 million.

National Amusements, Paramount and Skydance reps declined to comment. Apollo wasn’t immediately available.

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