Home » Media mogul Byron Allen’s $30-billion bid shakes up Paramount Global ownership

Media mogul Byron Allen’s $30-billion bid shakes up Paramount Global ownership

Allen makes serious play for Paramount Global, eyes strategic financing mix

by Omokolade Ajayi
Byron Allen

African-American media mogul Byron Allen is forging ahead in his quest to expand his media empire, as his company, Allen Media Group, has made an unsolicited $30 billion acquisition offer to acquire Paramount Global, an American multinational media and entertainment conglomerate controlled by the Redstone billionaire family.

According to media reports, Allen Media Group is offering $28.58 each for the voting shares of Paramount, representing a substantial 50 percent premium to recent trading. Additionally, the offer includes $21.53 for the nonvoting shares. When accounting for existing debt, the total value of the deal stands at approximately $30 billion.

Allen makes serious play for Paramount Global, eyes strategic financing mix

The proposal, which marks Allen’s latest play to bolster his media holdings, is expected to be financed through a combination of secured and unsecured senior debt and equity. This move places Allen among a growing list of investors eyeing Paramount Global, which boasts assets such as BET Media Group, the CBS broadcast network, and popular channels like Nickelodeon.

In a letter addressed to Paramount, Allen expressed confidence in the viability of the offer, stating, “This $30-billion offer, which includes debt and equity, is the best solution for all of the Paramount Global shareholders, and the bid should be taken seriously and pursued.” He emphasized his belief that with access to the company’s internal due diligence information, Allen Media Group could structure the capital necessary to support Paramount’s future growth prospects.

Allen’s bid represents a significant development in the ever-evolving media landscape. Notably, in September 2023, he extended a groundbreaking $10 billion offer to acquire Disney’s flagship broadcast network, ABC TV, and related cable channels, amidst Disney’s strategic reevaluation of its portfolio.

Strategic acquisitions and industry influence: Allen’s media empire unveiled

Born in Detroit in 1961, Allen rose to prominence at the age of 18 as the youngest comedian to perform on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” in 1979. Over the years, he has solidified his presence in the media industry, founding CF Entertainment in 1993, which evolved into Entertainment Studios and eventually Allen Media Group under his leadership.

Allen Media Group has progressively expanded its portfolio through strategic acquisitions, including the film distributor Freestyle Releasing, TheGrio, The Weather Channel, and a stake in Sinclair Broadcast Group’s acquisition of Fox Sports Networks, among others.

In December 2023, Allen intensified efforts to secure a majority stake in the BET Media Group, offering a $3.5-billion bid for both BET and VH1. This move challenged Paramount Global’s negotiations with a management-led investor group, further solidifying Allen’s position in the competitive media landscape.

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