Warren Buffett Says Berkshire Hathaway Sold All of Its Paramount Stock: ‘We Lost Quite a Bit of Money’

“It was 100% my decision,” the CEO said during the company’s annual meeting on Saturday

An older man with light-toned skin surrounded by other people also wearing suits. The man in the center is Warren Buffett.
Philanthropist Warren Buffett (C) on Sept. 19, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage)

As Paramount comes off a rocky week in which the company lost its CEO and its exclusive merger talks window with Skydance came to an end without a deal, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett says his company has now sold its entire stake in Paramount. Berkshire Hathaway had previously sold a third of its stock in Paramount during the fourth quarter of last year.

“We sold it all, and we lost quite a bit of money, that happens in this business too,” Buffett said on Saturday at Berkshire Hathaway’s annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska. He added that he was “100% responsible” for the Paramount decision — both buying in and getting out.

According to the company’s latest available filings, Berkshire owned 63.3 million shares of Paramount Global at the end of 2023. The company disclosed a $2.6 billion stake in Paramount in 2022 and picked up even more shares after that, but now they’re out.

“Owning Paramount made me think even deeper, but I certainly looked harder about the whole question of what people do with their leisure time and what the governing principles are of running an entertainment business of any sort, whether it’s sports or movies or whatever it might be,” Buffett said at the meeting. “I think I’m smarter now than I was a couple years ago, but I also think I’m poorer because I acquired the knowledge in the matter I did.”

On Friday, after a month of exclusive talks between Paramount and Skydance, their negotiation window expired without a deal, signaling one is unlikely to happen. David Ellison’s Skydance submitted a revised offer earlier this week in an effort to assuage concerns that the deal benefits non-executive chairwoman Shari Redstone over other investors. Notable investors have warned they could pursue litigation if the Skydance deal or any other bid does not adequately benefit shareholders.

Ahead of the window closing and moments before the company reported its Q1 earnings, Paramount CEO Bob Bakish was ousted and replaced with a trio of executives to form an “Office of the CEO” — CBS CEO and president George Cheeks, Paramount Media Networks CEO and president Chris McCarthy and Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon CEO and president Brian Robbins.

Sony Pictures Entertainment and Apollo Global Management have also submitted a non-binding, joint $26 billion all-cash offer for Paramount. That deal would see Sony take a majority stake and operational control, while Apollo would have a minority stake. But such a deal would likely face regulatory scrutiny due to limitations surrounding foreign ownership.

For now, Paramount is going it alone.


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