Paramount Pictures

Source: Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

David Ellison’s Skydance Media and Paramount Global have agreed to merge, the companies confirmed on Sunday (July 7).

The deal will see Skydance acquire National Amusements, which holds the Redstone family’s controlling stake in the group, for $2.4bn.

Skydance will then merge with Paramount and invest around $8bn into the company.

Ellison will become chairman and CEO while former NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Shell will serve as president.

The deal marks the end of decades of ownership of the Redstone family. Outgoing CEO Shari Redstone’s father, Sumner Redstone, acquired Viacom in 1987, growing it into a media empire that included Paramount Pictures, the CBS broadcast network and cable television networks Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV.

Redstone said in a statement: “Given the changes in the industry, we want to fortify Paramount for the future while ensuring that content remains king. Our hope is that the Skydance transaction will enable Paramount’s continued success in this rapidly changing environment. As a longtime production partner to Paramount, Skydance knows Paramount well and has a clear strategic vision and the resources to take it to its next stage of growth.”

The deal is expected to close by the first half of 2025, subject to regulatory approval. It follows eight months of negotiations as Paramount fielded bids from Sony and Apollo. Talks with Skydance previously broke down earlier this year.

Ellison founded Skydance in 2010 as a film production and financing vehicle. Paramount franchises include the Star Trek and Mission: Impossible series’.