Katzenberg teases drama at Paramount: “Ellison may surprise you!”

The Paramount-Skydance deal has Hollywood buzzing, and Jeffrey Katzenberg weighs in on the complex situation. Get the latest on the drama here.

Oh boy, Hollywood drama never fails to entertain, does it? And the latest saga involves none other than Jeffrey Katzenberg weighing in on the Paramount-Skydance deal. According to Katzenberg, if the deal goes through, it would be a “great win for Paramount and for people in the industry.” You know what they say, a win for Paramount is a win for all of us, right?

At the Axios BFD Talks: LA event, Katzenberg didn’t hold back as he talked about the complicated situation. He mentioned how the David Ellison deal didn’t quite take off, despite his belief that Ellison is a “phenomenal entrepreneur” who is super ambitious and loves the movie business. Katzenberg thought that deal would have been a game-changer for Paramount and the industry as a whole. But hey, as Katzenberg wisely pointed out, “don’t count Ellison out.”

Paramount isn’t done just yet, though. They’re still in talks with Ellison, even after the exclusive negotiating window closed. On top of that, they’re also chatting with a rival bidding team made up of Sony and Apollo. The Sony-Apollo offer might have more money for shareholders, but as Katzenberg put it, “I wouldn’t say that it has a straight path forward.” Seems like the drama is just getting started.

And let’s not forget about the regulatory hurdles in the way. Sony can’t own broadcast assets, so the plan is for Apollo to take them on. But as Katzenberg humorously pointed out, convincing the FCC to hand over the reins of the number-one broadcast network in America to a private equity firm? Well, that’s a tough sell. The regulatory environment isn’t exactly a walk in the park right now.

But wait, there’s more! Paramount’s controlling shareholders, including the formidable Shari Redstone, could just decide to sit tight and hold off on any deals for now. Maybe take a rain check and try again in a year or two. It’s like a high-stakes game of chess, but with billions of dollars on the line.

Now, here’s where it gets really interesting. Ellison and his backers are eyeing a buyout of Redstone’s stake, with a little something extra for common shareholders. The company would remain intact and stay public. Hollywood seems to be liking this potential deal, and who can blame them?

As for Sony and Apollo, they’re dangling a $26 billion carrot, debt included, to gobble up the whole company and take it private. A special committee of Paramount’s board has given the green light to engage with both parties. Shareholders are probably eagerly watching this drama unfold, popcorn in hand.

All in all, the Paramount saga is far from over. Stay tuned, folks, because in Tinseltown, the show never stops.

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