Paramount bidder Byron Allen has long history of failed media bids

Byron Allen, founder, chairman and CEO of the Allen Media Group, speaks throughout the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, California, on May 2, 2022.

Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images

Byron Allen, the media mogul providing $14 billion for Paramount Global, informed CNBC Wednesday he has the cash to finance a deal, regardless of skepticism round his deal-making.

“We have greater than sufficient capital out there to us. The actual problem is certainty of shut,” Allen stated.

“This deal lives or dies on the [Federal Communications Commission],” he added.

Allen, the founder and CEO of a media group that owns dozens of tv networks throughout the U.S., offered $30 billion for all of Paramount’s excellent shares, together with debt and fairness.

The Allen Media Group stated in an announcement the provide “is the perfect answer for all of the Paramount Global shareholders, and the bid ought to be taken significantly and pursued.”

Allen has a long history of making affords on main media property. But bidding doesn’t suggest shopping for.

His latest media buyout affords have failed to materialize into gross sales. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Allen final yr provided $18.5 billion for Paramount, and was rejected.

Allen informed CNBC he hasn’t obtained a response from Paramount to his most up-to-date provide.

Shari Redstone, who controls Paramount by her firm National Amusements, has been open to deal-making in latest months in an effort to both merge or promote the corporate that is residence to manufacturers corresponding to CBS, Showtime, Nickelodeon and its namesake film studio.

CNBC reported final week that David Ellison’s Skydance Media and its backers had been exploring a deal to take Paramount Pictures or the complete media firm personal.

In December, CNBC additionally reported Paramount had entered preliminary talks with Warner Bros. Discovery to merge the 2 media giants in a deal that would have confronted regulatory hurdles.

Allen’s bid for Paramount is probably the most bold of the offers the media mogul has tried to finish. Here are some of his latest deal makes an attempt:

  • In December, Allen renewed an try to purchase Paramount-owned Black Entertainment Television and VH1 for a mixed $3.5 billion.
  • In November, Bloomberg reported, he was weighing a bid to purchase tv stations from E.W. Scripps.
  • In September, Allen made a suggestion to purchase ABC and several other different networks from Disney for $10 billion after Disney CEO Bob Iger opened the door to selling the corporate’s linear TV property.
  • In 2022, he explored a bid to purchase the National Football League’s Washington Commanders.
  • In March 2020, he provided $8.5 billion to purchase tv stations proprietor Tegna.

Allen informed CNBC by way of telephone Wednesday he misplaced out on a number of offers as a result of possession modified course on eager to promote. He highlighted his acquisition of The Weather Channel in 2018 for a reported $300 million and broadly defended his observe document, invoking baseball Hall of Famer Babe Ruth.

“Let’s speak about Babe Ruth. Does he go down as one of the best baseball gamers of all time? And he struck out half the time,” Allen stated. In actuality, Ruth struck out 1,300 instances in 8,399 at bats — a 15% strike out charge.

Allen’s bids for linear TV property come because the media panorama shifts away from conventional TV towards streaming. Almost all the key media corporations have launched providers to compete with streaming big Netflix.

Paramount reported in its third-quarter earnings report that its streaming platform, Paramount+, elevated its subscriber depend to 63 million. However, Paramount’s direct-to-consumer merchandise have failed to show a revenue like Netflix has. The division reported adjusted losses of $238 million for the third quarter.

Paramount will launch its fourth-quarter earnings Feb. 28.

Allen informed CNBC he desires to purchase Paramount for its linear networks, what he says is probably the most difficult half of the corporate.

“These are nonetheless nice companies if you know the way to handle them correctly,” Allen stated.

Shares of Paramount had been up about 8% Wednesday afternoon and have risen greater than 35% previously three months as talks of a deal ramped up. However, the inventory is greater than 40% off its 52-week excessive of $25.93 a share reached in February 2023.

— CNBC’s Alex Sherman and Julia Boorstin contributed to this report.

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