Paramount Pictures

Source: Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

Sony Pictures and private equity firm Apollo have signed non-disclosure agreements with Paramount Global, according to reports, suggesting that the companies may be moving closer to a deal to buy the Hollywood studio. 

Sony and Apollo are thought to have been in talks with Paramount for the past ten days, since the studio’s 30-day exclusive negotiating window with David Ellison’s Skydance Media expired. Non-disclosure agreements would allow Sony and Apollo to examine financial information about Paramount that is not publicly available. 

According to the New York Times, however, Sony and Apollo have now backed away from the $26bn cash offer they originally tabled for Paramount and are considering other approaches to buying the studio’s assets. The original offer is thought to have been based on a plan to keep Paramount’s film and TV production operation but sell off other assets such as cable channels and the Paramount+ streaming service. 

Skydance’s bid for the whole of Paramount is said to have met with resistance from the company’s common shareholders, who felt it favoured Shari Redstone, Paramount’s controlling shareholder. But it has been reported that Skydance is still interested in a deal and is still holding talks with the studio.