In a bid to secure a majority stake in the BET Media Group, African-American media mogul Byron Allen has intensified efforts by offering a substantial $3.5 billion bid for both BET and VH1, challenging Paramount Global’s negotiations with a management-led investor group.
Allen, who has been contemplating the acquisition for some time, conveyed a new offer via email to Paramount’s management and board on Tuesday. This follows Paramount’s discussions with potential buyers, including BET CEO Scott Mills and CC Capital Partners’ Chinh Chu, with sources suggesting a potential sale price slightly below $2 billion.
African-American media mogul accuses Paramount of “lowball inside deal”
In a scathing critique of Paramount’s decision, Allen accused the conglomerate of orchestrating a “lowball inside deal” that undermines the interests of shareholders. He emphasized that any sale below the highest possible price would represent a breach of fiduciary duty by Paramount Global’s management team and board of directors.
The media mogul had previously garnered support from four banks and two private equity firms, presenting a $3-billion offer for the channels along with additional content purchases and spending. Paramount was expected to retain a 19-percent stake in the venture.
This recent development echoes Allen’s earlier groundbreaking offer of $10 billion to acquire Disney’s flagship broadcast network, ABC TV, as well as the FX and National Geographic cable channels in September.
50 Cent weighs in on Paramount’s reversal of BET sale decision
In August, renowned rapper and businessman Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson voiced his views on Paramount’s decision to reverse plans to sell the majority stake in BET.
In an Instagram post, 50 Cent expressed skepticism about BET’s $3-billion valuation, stating that Paramount’s call to cease negotiations indicated a belief that BET was not worth the proposed amount.
As Paramount Global navigates the complexities of potential buyers and stakeholder interests, the future of BET and VH1 remains uncertain, with Byron’s persistent bid adding a new layer of intrigue to the unfolding development and bidding process.