Media mogul Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group is the latest company to bid on Paramount (PARA) Global as it seems to be looking for a buyer. Allen, whose company’s portfolio includes The Weather Group, TheGrio and several local TV stations, has offered to buy Paramount in a deal valued at $30 billion, Bloomberg first reported yesterday (Jan. 30).
Allen has offered to acquire all of Paramount’s outstanding shares for $14.3 billion and take over the company’s $15 billion debt. He is offering $28.58 apiece for Paramount’s voting shares, which represents a 50 percent premium to recent trading price, and $21.53 for the nonvoting shares,
“The bid should be taken seriously and pursued,” Allen’s company said in a statement to Bloomberg.
The offer places Allen in the game with other media moguls who have been circling Paramount, including Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) CEO David Zaslav who reportedly met with Paramount CEO Bob Bakish last December. Other potential buyers include Skydance Media and the investment firm RedBird Capital. Paramount is owned by National Amusements Inc., which is run by Shari Redstone. The parent company as a whole has also been included in sale talks.
Paramount is exhausting its options to save money, and Bakish announced recently additional company layoffs were on the horizon. Last year, Paramount Networks, MTV and Showtime laid off 25 percent of their U.S. staff, and the company shuttered Showtime Sports and MTV News. The company also sold its publishing business, Simon & Schuster, to the private equity firm KKR last year. It is currently looking for a buyer for BET Network. Allen made a bid for BET and VH1 twice last year for $3.5 billion but was turned down.
Allen, 62, began his entertainment career as a stand-up comedian when he was a teenager. In 1993, he created his own production company, CF Entertainment, which later became Entertainment Studios or what we know as Allen Media Group today.
He has attempted to add other major brands to his portfolio. Last year, he offered The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger $10 billion for ABC and other linear assets from Disney.