Paramount bidders await word from special committee evaluating options

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Paramount bidders await word from special committee evaluating options

By Dawn Chmielewski

May 4 (Reuters)A special committee of the Paramount GlobalPARA.O board charged with evaluating offers for the company met Saturday morning, though rival bidders for the studio are awaiting word on next steps.

Paramount ended its exclusive negotiations with Skydance Media without a deal on Friday, allowing the special committee to entertain other offers for the home of “Mission: Impossible” and “SpongeBob SquarePants.”

Paramount’s special committee has yet to contact Sony Pictures Entertainment, which, together with private equity firm Apollo Global ManagementAPO.N, sent a letter on Wednesday expressing interest in acquiring Paramount, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

Meanwhile David Ellison’s Skydance, which has been engaged for months in deal talks with Paramount and its controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, is evaluating its options, Reuters previously reported.

A spokesperson for the special committee could not be reached for comment.

Paramount, like other studios, has been struggling to recover from last year’s months-long strikes by Hollywood writers and actors, a soft advertising market and falling cable subscriptions in the United States that has eroded profit for its TV business.

Its streaming service, Paramount+, also trails rivals such as Netflix NFLX.O and Disney+ in subscriber numbers – even though Redstone had hoped the merger of CBS and Viacom in 2019 would help the combined company, later renamed Paramount Global, compete better.

Shares of Paramount have fallen more than 65% since then, losing more than $14 billion in market value.

Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles; Editing by Daniel Wallis

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