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Shari’s Apollo Landing & Trump Coupon Murmurs

shari redstone
Apollo’s $11 billion offer has left Shari and her board with a difficult Sophie’s Choice situation. Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for The New York Times
William D. Cohan
March 24, 2024

Last week, as my faithful readers know, Apollo Global Management, the asset-management behemoth, sent a letter to Paramount Global C.E.O. Bob Bakish and the company’s board of directors offering $11 billion for its movie studio and TV production facilities. As my partner Matt Belloni reported on Thursday evening, the Apollo bid includes Legendary, another Hollywood production company in which Apollo has a large minority stake, complete with favorable governance and control provisions, with the intention, perhaps, of combining the two studios and reaping the various synergies

Interestingly, CBS and its affiliated local television-station network weren’t part of the offer—although that remains an option. In recent days, I’ve been told that Apollo is flexible about the deal structure, given Paramount’s previous intransigence to part with its studio. Indeed, as you would expect, Apollo is going about this in a very clever way, more clever I would venture than are David Ellison and his SkyDance studio, along with partners RedBird and KKR, who have put together a deal for National Amusements Inc., the Redstone family holding company that controls about 10 percent of the economic ownership of Paramount Global and nearly 80 percent of the voting control. The strategy, presumably, is to get their hands around Paramount Global on the cheap. But the Ellison deal, or the version that has been bandied about in the media now for months, is rife with complications.