Skydance Media and Paramount Global have announced their agreement to merge, marking a significant development for one of Hollywood's most historic studios. The merger will proceed in two stages: initially, Skydance and its partners will acquire National Amusements, the entity that controls the Redstone family's majority stake in Paramount, for $2.4 billion in cash. Following this, Skydance will merge with Paramount, offering shareholders $4.5 billion in either cash or stock, and injecting an additional $1.5 billion into Paramount's financial reserves.

This strategic move has already impacted the market, with shares of CBS, owned by Paramount, increasing by over 4 percent pre-market. The deal signifies a turning point for Shari Redstone, whose father, the late Sumner Redstone, built the family's drive-in theater business into a media conglomerate that included Paramount Pictures, CBS, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, and MTV. Redstone, who chairs both Paramount and National Amusements, emphasized the need to strengthen Paramount for future challenges while maintaining the primacy of content, a principle her father championed.

The merger will unite Paramount, known for its classic films like Chinatown, The Godfather, and Breakfast at Tiffany's, with Skydance, its financial collaborator on recent blockbusters such as Top Gun: Maverick, Mission: Impossible-Dead Reckoning, and Star Trek Into Darkness. David Ellison, the 41-year-old founder of Skydance and a tech industry heir, will assume the roles of chairman and CEO of the newly merged Paramount. Jeff Shell, the former CEO of NBCUniversal, will take on the position of president.