Edgar Bronfman Mulls $2.5B Bid for Shari Redstone’s NAI

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Shari Redstone may have yet another offer on the table to buy National Amusements Inc., the controlling shareholder of Paramount Global — the latest twist in the months-long M&A drama swirling around the troubled media conglomerate.

Erstwhile media mogul Edgar Bronfman Jr. is teaming with investment firm Bain Capital to put together an offer of up to $2.5 billion for Redstone’s National Amusements, sources confirmed. NAI owns 77% of the voting shares in Paramount.

At this point, Bronfman and Bain have not made a formal offer to buy NAI; it’s unclear what their plan for Paramount would be if they succeeded in acquiring National Amusements. Bronfman and Bain Capital’s prospective bid was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Reps Bain Capital, National Amusements and Waverley Capital (the venture-capital firm for which Bronfman serves as chairman and general partner) declined to comment.

Word of Bronfman’s interest in taking over NAI comes as Redstone is still negotiating with Skydance and its financial backers, RedBird Capital and KKR, over their newest merger offer submitted last week. Under those terms, the Skydance consortium would pay Redstone about $2 billion for NAI; current Paramount Class B shareholders (who do not have voting rights) would be offered to cash in nearly half their shares for $15 per share. The Skydance group would own two-thirds of Paramount’s shares and Paramount would remain public.

Bronfman was chairman and CEO of Warner Music Group from 2004-12, stepping down after it was acquired by Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries. Before WMG, he was CEO of Seagram before he sold that business to Vivendi. Currently Bronfman serves as executive chairman of Fubo, the sports-focused streaming pay-TV provider, and executive chairman of Global Thermostat LLC, a company designed to develop and commercialize a technology for the direct capture of carbon dioxide.

Other parties said to have shown interest in buying NAI include producer and filmmaker Steven Paul, who was behind the “Baby Geniuses” movie franchise and is actor Jon Voight’s manager. Paul has been trying to line up financing to make a $3 billion offer for NAI, per a Journal report last month.

Sony Pictures and private-equity firm Apollo Global Management emerged as joint bidders for Paramount Global, floating an offer of $26 billion (including assumption of debt). Since then, Sony and Apollo have backed away from a deal for Paramount in its entirety.

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