Home Entertainment Barry Diller Kicking Tires On Paramount Bid

Barry Diller Kicking Tires On Paramount Bid

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Media mogul Barry Diller is exploring a bid for Paramount, The New York Times reports. The Hollywood potentate-turned-digital media-pioneer’s IAC Corp. has inked nondisclosure deals with Shari Redstone’s National Amusements Inc., the company’s controlling stakeholder, the paper said.

The Times said the status of the Diller-Paramount talks is unclear. A Paramount rep declined to comment when contacted by Deadline. A rep for NAI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Diller, who became head of Paramount Pictures a half-century ago at just 32 and once was outbid for the company by Sumner Redstone, Shari’s father, is looking to take control of the company, which reportedly was close to a deal with David Ellison’s Skydance before those talks fell apart three weeks ago.

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Diller’s interest is the latest chapter of the ongoing Paramount sale saga, which has seen suitors including Sony, Edgar Bronfman Jr. and an investor group led by Steven Paul. Among all of the feelers, only Skydance and Apollo Global Management had discussed a full takeover of Paramount. Most parties have looked to take over National Amusements, gaining majority control of Paramount without having to fund a complete acquisition.

Amid all of the deal talks, shares in the company have fallen under $10 — a record low since the 2019 Viacom-CBS merger. CEO Bob Bakish was ousted in April and a trio of executives installed to replace him in an unorthodox Office of the CEO. The stock shed another 2% during Monday’s regular session before gaining 3% in after-hours trading on word of Diller’s interest.

RELATED: Peter Bart: Paramount Global’s Skydance Rejection Puts Heavy Pressure On Shari Redstone To Sort Shaky Future

Since then, a three top Paramount execs – George CheeksChris McCarthy and Brian Robbins — have stepped in to run the Paramount Global as co-CEOs. At a company town hall last week, the trio revealed that bankers have been hired to sell its assets. Two weeks before the town hall, the chief execs admitted that “the past several months have not been easy” but told staffers that they have a “strategic plan” that they are “confident will set the stage for growth for Paramount.”

RELATED: Imagine Partners Brian Grazer & Ron Howard Tap JP Morgan To Explore Possible Sale

Diller, 82, is a former Fox, Paramount and Universal boss who has been more focused on his InterActive Corp. and other digital ventures during the past 20-plus years.

Dade Hayes contributed to this report.



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