Sunday, December 10, 2023

Paramount: Stock jumps as Bellator sale, severance pacts add to 'M&A narrative' - Yahoo Finance

Paramount Global (PARA) stock closed nearly 6% higher on Monday following two new developments that suggest the struggling media giant could be exploring more M&A deals.

Late Friday, the company quietly revealed in an 8-K filing that current executives including CEO Bob Bakish, CFO Naveen Chopra, and executive VP Christa D’Alimonte will be offered severance if they are terminated within two years "following the consummation of a change in control."

Also on Monday: the Saudi-backed Professional Fighters League (PFL) confirmed it completed the acquisition of mixed martial arts promoter Bellator from Paramount, which previously controlled the rights.

The deal comes after Paramount announced its Showtime sports division, which included boxing and MMA, will shut down at the end of the year. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed although reports suggest PFL stock was included in the sale, which will allow Paramount to maintain a minority ownership stake.

"PARA's recent announcements on severance/change in control + Bellator sale adds to the M&A narrative," Wells Fargo analyst Steve Cahall wrote to clients on Monday.

Paramount has long been viewed as a potential acquisition target due to its small size relative to competitors. The company boasts a current market cap of just around $9 billion, compared to Disney's (DIS) $170 billion and Netflix's (NFLX) $208 billion.

However, Cahall said he remains "skeptical there's a more drastic change in strategy coming,"...

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