Paramount in Talks to Sell BET Network for Upwards of $1.7 Billion

Mass media company Paramount Global is apparently in talks to sell its Black Entertainment Television network to interested parties, with Skydance Media supposedly one of the biggest. Paramount Global is ran by three co-CEOs, and they have signaled their intention by hiring financial experts and bankers to help facilitate negotiations and discussions surrounding the sale.

The latest development is that the figures brought up during discussions with potential buyers is somewhere around $1.6B to $1.7B. Last year, similar discussions took place for a potential merger with Skydance Media, with a figure said to be just under $2B. While negotiations clearly broke down, discussions are now said to have been rekindled at the reduced price. Discussions involved BET CEO Scott Mills and Chinh Chu.

Paramount had also recently received an offer from media mogul Byron Allen, who apparently proposed a $3.5B package to acquire both BET and VH1 together, while further solidifying that BET remains Black-focused entertainment. However, this offer appears to have been turned down. In addition to that, filmmaker and BET investor Tyler Perry discussed a potential stake in the company which has been discussed, but nothing substantial occurred due to the fact that “a sale wouldn’t result in any meaningful deleveraging of its balance sheet” according to reports.

However, the discussions have changed since then. Although the price has been reduced from the initial offers last year, Paramount has made strides to further facilitate a sale. In an effort to reduce costs, the CEOs have developed a plan to cut jobs and sell assets in order to gain profitability. In addition to selling BET, Paramount is also floating their idea of selling their Paramount Pictures studio lot on 5555 Melrose Boulevard in Hollywood, supposedly worth upwards of $600 million.

Investors were happy at the news, with shares jumping 4.2% to roughly $10.50 per share.