Paramount CEO Bob Bakish resigns amid financial difficulties, possible merger

 April 30, 2024

Entertainment conglomerate Paramount Global has seen its fortunes dip in recent years, with Breitbart reporting that the company's streaming service lost it more than $1 billion over a six-month period in 2023.

According to the website, that poor performance prompted CEO Bob Bakish to announce his resignation this week. 

Talks over potential merger between Paramount and Skydance Media

Breitbart noted that Bakish's position is set to be replaced by an a new office of CEO which will be jointly occupied by three individuals.

They are George Cheeks, who serves as head of Paramount's CBS division, entertainment and youth brands president Chris McCarthy, and Brian Robbins, who is in charge of the company's movie studio.

What's more, The New York Times pointed out that Bakish's departure comes as Paramount is facing a potential merger with Skydance Media, a film, television, and video game company led by CEO David Ellison.

The Times noted that controlling shareholder Shari Redstone has already reached an agreement to sell her stake in Paramount.

Skydance deal facing opposition from some shareholders

However, the paper also pointed out that Paramount's directors have yet to reach an agreement for the company as a whole and some investors have expressed opposition to the deal.

They contend that the proposed merger with Skydance would benefit Redstone while harming other shareholders. What's more, an all-cash bid for Paramount has been discussed by Sony and the private equity firm Apollo.

The Times revealed that Skydance has attempted to win over critics by offering to provide an additional $3 billion for debt repayment and a share buyback.

Paramount's debt load has become a growing concern, with Variety magazine reporting in March that its bonds were relegated to junk status by the credit-rating agency S&P Global.

Further, Skydance has also offered current Paramount stockholders a larger stake in the new company should the merger be approved.

Expert: Bakish's departure "creates a point of leverage"

Jim Woolery is founder of the advisory firm Woolery & Company, and he told the Times that Bakish's sudden departure could have a major impact.

He explained that it "creates a point of leverage" by putting extra pressure on the special committee of Paramount board members tasked with evaluating the merger proposal to show they are looking for the best deal.

Woolery went on to suggest that the committee is now more likely to enter into talks with Sony and Apollo or other potential bidders.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
© 2015 - 2024 Conservative Institute. All Rights Reserved.