Sony and Apollo Express Interest in Buying Paramount in $26 Billion Deal

Sony Pictures Entertainment and the private equity giant Apollo Global Management have formally expressed interest in acquiring Paramount for roughly $26 billion, according to two people familiar with the matter, a move that adds drama to an already chaotic deal making process.

The nonbinding expression of interest, sent in a letter this week, comes as Paramount approaches an agreed-upon Friday deadline for the expiration of an exclusive negotiating period with Skydance, a Hollywood studio run by the tech scion David Ellison. Paramount has been in talks with Skydance for months, discussing a complicated transaction that would involve a merger and an investment from the private equity firm Redbird Capital Partners.

The new, joint expression of interest would make Sony a significant majority and controlling shareholder and Apollo a minority shareholder. The proposed all-cash acquisition may appeal to Paramount shareholders who have come out against the Skydance deal over concerns it benefits the company’s controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, at the expense of others.

Paramount did not immediately comment.

This is a developing story. Check back later for more details.

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