Paramount Global special committee backs merger with David Ellison’s Skydance Media



David Ellison inched closer to an acquisition of Paramount Global, the owner of MTV and CBS, as a special committee of the company’s board endorsed a merger with his Skydance Media, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.

An agreement would end one of the messiest and most dramatic merger deals in recent history. The full board is set to approve the deal with the parties signing final paperwork Sunday and an announcement coming as soon as Monday, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the meeting was confidential. 

No final decision has been made and it’s possible the discussions could fall through. Another person with knowledge of the matter said the committee was still meeting and hadn’t formally voted.

A Skydance-Paramount merger would represent just one step in a complicated deal. Ellison plans to acquire National Amusements, the holding company of Paramount controlling shareholder Shari Redstone, and then merge Skydance with Paramount. Redstone has blessed the deal with Ellison, which would end her family’s stewardship of a media empire after four decades, but still needs to give final approval.

Ellison’s talks with Paramount and Redstone collapsed just a couple of weeks ago, shocking the company’s board, employees and shareholders. But the son of Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison sustained contact with Redstone and revived the negotiations over the last several days. The new terms include a higher valuation for National Amusements and stronger language indemnifying the Redstones’ company against litigation that may result from the deal.

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