Skydance CEO David Ellison Says Company Is ‘Stronger’ After Scuttled Paramount Deal

“Paramount will always hold a special place for me,” the executive tells staff after Shari Redstone walks away from deal

Skydance Media CEO David Ellison and National Amusements President Shari Redstone
Skydance Media CEO David Ellison and National Amusements President Shari Redstone (Getty Images / Illustration by TheWrap)

Skydance Media CEO David Ellison sent a memo to staff Tuesday telling them “that chapter” of seeking a potential merger with Paramount has “ended.” The message follows Shari Redstone walking away from a deal that would have seen Skydance ultimately merge with Paramount. Redstone’s decision ended monthslong talks between the companies.

“As you all know, for the last several months we have been actively exploring a transaction to acquire NAI and merge with Paramount Global, and today that chapter ended,” Ellison began the memo to Skydance employees.

He proceeded to rally the Skydance team and praised their recent work, writing, “While I was focused on this effort, you all doubled down on Skydance. In just a short time since we went back to work after a historic two guild strike, you have delivered more TV product in our company’s history, hit video game franchises, Emmy-winning sports content, and a feature film slate that is our industry’s finest. For all of this and more, I thank you.”

“Skydance is stronger than ever because of you, and we are stronger because of this process,” the executive added, before arguing how the process has helped Skydance. “For starters, we are smarter. We know more about our business, our potential, and the marketplace at large. We are more confident than ever — not just about Skydance but about the future of entertainment and our ability to continue building a next generation content company on our terms, with the greatest capital, creative and technological resources and talent in the industry. The bottom line: our future is incredibly bright and tomorrow we will keep building to make it even better.”

Ellison seemed to express some regret about the deal seemingly not coming together with the studio Skydance has long been associated with. “Paramount will always hold a special place for me, we had our first slate deal with the studio and continue to co-own several marquee franchises together. I have great respect for the legacy of Paramount, value our ongoing partnership and wish them the best.”

The Skydance CEO closed, “Finally, again, I want to thank each of you for your patience and support as we chart the next phase of Skydance. We have a lot to look forward to.”

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