Warren Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway has bought $2.6 billion in stocks for Paramount Global, operator of Paramount+ and owner of Paramount Pictures, CBS, Showtime, and Comedy Central among other TV and film properties, according to financial filings made public on Monday.
Paramount is the third company with a major streaming service that Berkshire Hathaway has invested in, joining Apple with its service Apple TV+ and Amazon with Amazon Prime. Paramount Global reported in quarterly earnings earlier this month that Showtime and Paramount+ had a combined 62 million subscribers.
Buffett also more than quadrupled his stake in scandal-ridden video game company Activision Blizzard ahead of its planned acquisition by Microsoft. In a recent shareholders meeting, Buffett said that the investment in that company was made anticipating that the merger will be completed and that Activision Blizzard’s shares will rise from their current value of $78 to the offer price of $95.
Berkshire Hathaway’s investment moves are closely watched by Wall Street analysts and investors as potential indicators of companies set for long-term success. While Paramount, owned by Shari Redstone’s National Amusements, has been lagging behind Disney, Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery in the streaming wars, the studio has pledged a ramp-up in original streaming content for Paramount+ in the coming years while bundling the service with Showtime to boost subscriber interest in the short-term.
Paramount is also getting help from its theatrical film division, which has had several box office successes this year ranging from the low-budget “Jackass Forever” to the family blockbuster “Sonic the Hedgehog 2,” which has grossed over $350 million at the global box office. The studio’s next film, “Top Gun: Maverick” could do even better with a projected $100-million plus extended opening on Memorial Day weekend.
Paramount is set to make its upfront presentation in New York on Wednesday.