Sony and Apollo in Talks for Joint Paramount Bid

The two companies may submit a competing bid after Paramount’s exclusivity window with Skydance expires

Sony Apollo Paramount

Investment firm Apollo Global Management’s bid to purchase Paramount may get a major partner: Sony Pictures Entertainment.

TheWrap has learned that Sony Pictures has been in talks with Apollo about making a joint bid to acquire the Melrose studio, weeks after Apollo made a solo offer to purchase the company for $26 billion, including taking on debt.

If the bid is made and accepted, Sony is expected to add Paramount to its collection of labels that includes Columbia Pictures, TriStar and Stage6, among others.

If the companies make the joint bid, they will not do so until after the 30-day exclusive negotiation window between Paramount and production partner Skydance ends on May 3. The proposed bid from Skydance, which would be backed by fresh capital from a consortium of investors including Oracle cofounder Larry Ellison, RedBird Capital Partners and KKR, would see the media acquire control of Paramount through Shari Redstone’s National Amusements, which holds a controlling share of the studio.

As TheWrap reported earlier Thursday, Paramount and Skydance are not expected to close a deal before the exclusivity window ends, but negotiations are still moving forward. The Skydance deal has received significant pushback from shareholders, with some threatening litigation if Redstone does not consider the Apollo bid.

Representatives for Sony Pictures declined to comment. The potential joint bid was first reported by The New York Times.

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