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Sony And Apollo Bid $26 Billion For Paramount Global: Reports

Sony (SONY) and Apollo Global Management (APO) are reported to have offered $26 billion U.S. in cash to buy entertainment company Paramount Global (PARA).

The Wall Street Journal was the first to report on the joint Sony / Apollo bid for Paramount, which is seeking to sell itself and currently engaged in exclusive negotiations with privately held Skydance Media.

Under terms of the proposed deal, Sony would hold a majority stake in the venture and operate Paramount, whose film properties include “Star Trek” and “Indiana Jones.”

Paramount is struggling to build its streaming business amid stiff competition from Netflix (NFLX) and Walt Disney (DIS) at the same time that its legacy television business declines.

In recent days, Paramount replaced chief executive officer (CEO) Bob Bakish who was said to be against the takeover talks with Skydance Media.

As well, four independent members of Paramount’s board of directors are leaving at the company's annual shareholder meeting scheduled for June 4.

Some shareholders have raised concerns about a potential deal with Skydance and have urged Paramount to consider other offers, including the one from Sony / Apollo.

Skydance's exclusive negotiating window ends today (May 3).

Sony already operates a large entertainment division and has its own film franchises that include “Jumanji” and “James Bond,” among others.

The stock of Paramount Global has declined 40% over the past 12 months and trading at $13.86 U.S. per share.