Edgar Bronfman Jr., Bain Capital Eyeing $2 Billion Bid for Shari Redstone’s National Amusements | Report

The former Warner Music Group CEO is looking to offer up to $2.5 billion for the holding company, The Wall Street Journal reports

Edgar Bronfman, Jr. (Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images)
Edgar Bronfman, Jr. (Credit: Michael Kovac/Getty Images)

Edgar Bronfman Jr., the former CEO and chairman of Warner Music Group, has expressed interest in Shari Redstone’s National Amusements, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

The outlet reported Monday that Bronfman is looking to offer between $2 billion and $2.5 billion for the holding company, which controls 77% of Paramount’s class A voting stock and 5.2% of its class B common stock. The bid is reportedly backed by Bain Capital.

Representatives for National Amusements, Bain Capital and Waverly Capital, a venture capital firm where Bronfman serves as chairman and general partner, declined to comment.

In addition to Bronfman, “Baby Geniuses” producer Steven Paul is also lining up a bid for National Amusements, an individual familiar with the matter told TheWrap. That bid is backed by a group of investors including John Paul DeJoria, the billionaire cofounder of Patrón tequila and Paul Mitchell hair care products, according to Bloomberg.

In an interview with the outlet, DeJoria said he would look to “promote positive information” on CBS’ stations, adding that there isn’t one that’s “non-political.” Paul and DeJoria’s group, who are being advised by Rockefeller Capital Management, reportedly made an offer several weeks ago that is more than the $2.25 billion from Skydance but less than $3 billion.

Representatives for Paul and DeJoria did not immediately return TheWrap’s request for comment, while Rockefeller Capital Management declined to comment.

The two expressions of interest come as Redstone is weighing a takeover offer from David Ellison’s Skydance Media, which would see the firm acquire National Amusements and merge with Paramount Global in a two-step plan.

The Skydance offer, which has received support from Paramount’s independent special committee evaluating bids, has been revised multiple times in an effort to win over the company’s class B shareholders who have argued that it would prioritize Redstone at the expense of the rest of the company’s investors.

In addition to Skydance, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Apollo Global Management submitted a joint $26 billion all-cash offer in May that would see the former take a majority stake and operational control and the latter take a minority stake. The New York Times reported that they have signed NDAs to conduct due diligence, but have since backed away from the original offer.

There’s also the option that Redstone lets Paramount go it alone under the new strategy laid out by its Office of the CEO to reduce its $14.6 billion in long-term debt, return to investment grade metrics after a credit downgrade to junk status, and drive revenue and earnings growth. That plan includes partnerships in streaming, $500 million in cost cuts and divesting assets.

The group, which is made up of executives Brian Robbins, Chris McCarthy and George Cheeks, replaced former CEO Bob Bakish in April.

Redstone’s difficult decision comes as Paramount shares have slipped 26% in the past six months, 16% year to date and 27% in the past year.

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