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Paramount vows to focus on strategic plan after Shari Redstone ends deal talks

Paramount Global executives told employees on Wednesday the company would focus on a new plan to revamp its streaming business, cut costs and sell assets to pay down debt, according to an email seen by Reuters.

The message came the day after Paramount’s controlling shareholder Shari Redstone decided to terminate deal negotiations with Skydance Media.

“We recognize that the past few months have not been easy as we navigate ongoing change and speculation,” the company’s co-CEOs Brian Robbins, George Cheeks and Chris McCarthy wrote, “and we should certainly expect some of these to continue.”


The message came the day after Paramount’s controlling shareholder Shari Redstone decided to terminate deal negotiations with Skydance Media. Reuters

Ms. Redstone, the daughter of media mogul Sumner Redstone, had been expected to sell the family’s stake to Mr. Ellison as part of a $2.25 billion deal for the family holding company National Amusements Inc., part of a complex $8 billion transaction that led to the merger of venerable Hollywood film studio Paramount with smaller Skydance.

Media heir apparent Paramount abruptly terminated negotiations with David Ellison’s Skydance on Tuesday, even as a special committee of Paramount’s board was scheduled to meet to discuss the status of the deal.

Employees who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said they were shocked by the news.

Paramount’s co-CEOs said the board remains “open-minded” about exploring strategic options, but they plan to move forward with the strategic plan they outlined at the company’s annual shareholder meeting last week.


Paramount Studios sign
David Ellison’s Skydance was in merger talks with the venerable Hollywood studio. Shutterstock / wonderlustpicstravel

Executives said they would invest in film and TV franchises, series and sports, which the company described as “core to our business.”

Paramount shares have fallen 25% this year.

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