Paramount’s Rival Bidders Include Patrón Tequila Billionaire John Paul DeJoria

John Paul DeJoria, the billionaire co-founder of Patrón tequila and Paul Mitchell hair care products, is among the deep-pocketed investors who’ve made a bid to take over Paramount Global. DeJoria, who sold Patrón to Bacardi Ltd. for $5.1 billion in 2018, aims to promote positive information on CBS.

“There is not one news station that’s non-political,” DeJoria said. “I can promote positive information on their stations. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to be a positive influence on everybody.”

DeJoria is part of a group of investors led by film producer Steven Paul that’s made an offer for National Amusements Inc., the Redstone family holding company that owns 77% of Paramount’s voting stock. The group made an offer several weeks ago that’s more than the $2.25 billion that producer David Ellison, another bidder, has proposed, but less than $3 billion, according to people familiar with the terms.

Paul’s group has at least five very wealthy investors behind it, rumored to include Philip Odegard, a Norwegian billionaire and owner of Tribune Publications, according to those familiar with the deal. They’re being advised by Rockefeller Capital Management, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing terms that haven’t been made public.

Shari Redstone, chair of Paramount’s board, has been engaged in talks for months about a sale of her family’s media interests. Part of the Paul group’s pitch is that, unlike Ellison’s offer, their deal doesn’t involve a merger with another business. Ellison plans a multipart takeover of Paramount that includes merging his Skydance Media into the company at a $4.75 billion valuation.

A number of Paramount investors have objected to a deal that would see the Redstones bought out at a premium, while other shareholders face dilution. To satisfy their concerns, Ellison agreed to pump billions of dollars more into Paramount, in debt reduction and share purchases.

A special committee of Paramount directors recommended Ellison’s offer, and Redstone has been considering it. Paramount shares rose after terms of Ellison’s latest proposal became public. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier that Paul’s offer for National Amusements was around $3 billion.

Paul has a long list of film credits that include the 2017 Scarlett Johansson sci-fi picture “Ghost in the Shell” and the “Baby Geniuses” series about a group of super-intelligent talking babies.

Media Contact
Company Name: AP News
Contact Person: Joanne Tipton
Email: Send Email
Country: United States