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Latest Mergers and Acquisitions News


Viacom Acquires Pluto TV For $340 Million In Cash


Two weeks after word first surfaced that Viacom had been holding acquisition talks with ad-supported streaming services, it has acquired Pluto TV for $340 million in cash. Founded in 2013, Pluto TV is the leading free streaming service in the U.S., serving as a 21st century bundled experience, offering viewers more than 100 channels and thousands of hours of on-demand content. By investing in AVOD, Viacom joins NBCUniversal in aligning with a streaming model that… Read


Media Giants Will Pause Merger Mania After CBS-Viacom, Per Wall Street Analysts: “You Need A Motivated Seller” – NATPE

The massive wave of consolidation that reshaped the media and entertainment sector in 2018 has crested, leaving companies to “muddle through” an extended period until a willing seller materializes. That was one of the more provocative conclusions of a quartet of analysts on the NATPE panel “How Wall Street Watches Television,” which was moderated by Lionsgate investor relations head James Marsh. “You need a motivated seller,” observed Michael Nathanson of… Read


NBCU Chief Steve Burke Says New Streaming Service Could Reclaim ‘The Office’ From Netflix In 2021; Exec Reorg No Threat To Andy Lack

Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal, said the early 2020 launch of an ad-supported streaming service will, among other things, enable the company to take a closer look at bringing key titles like The Office back into its own control. The sitcom, licensed to Netflix through 2021, has attained a popularity in the streaming space nearly comparable to that of Friends, whose fate sparked a flurry of dealmaking and talk in December as Netflix extended its license with WarnerMedia… Read


Gannett Shares Soar On $1.4B Hostile Bid From Digital First Media


Digital First Media, a hedge fund-backed entity known for scooping up local newspapers and then aggressively cutting costs and jobs, has made an unsolicited $1.36 billion offer for Gannett. Shares in Gannett have soared 18% on the news, reaching $11.50 in morning trading. The management of Gannett indicated it will consider the offer at the board level, but the offer letter did not mince words, saying that Digital First believed that Gannett’s leadership has failed to… Read


CBS’ CEO Search On Back Burner Amidst Push For New Viacom Merger Talks

EXCLUSIVE: A permanent replacement for Les Moonves may have to wait until CBS and Viacom become one company again. The quest to find a full-time CEO has lost some of its intensity over the holidays as a consensus is emerging among CBS board members and power players to take a renewed look into melding the media outlet with its former parent company, I hear. "It's simply not as important now who runs CBS when you consider that a newly constructed leadership team will be… Read


FCC Succumbs To Government Shutdown After Welcoming Two New Commissioners

The Federal Communications Commission is joining the list of those affected by the government shutdown, closing its doors today just after welcoming two new commissioners. The only part of the FCC’s daily function that will remain in operation is its response to reports of 911 service outages. Just before shutting its doors, the FCC saluted the confirmation by the Senate on Wednesday night of two new commissioners to five-year terms — Democrat Geoffrey Starks and… Read


Viacom Analyst Keeps “Buy” Rating But Slashes Price Target, 2019 Estimates

CBS Viacom Paramount

Veteran media analyst Barton Crockett of B. Riley FBR is maintaining his “buy” rating on Viacom’s stock, but has slashed his 12-month price target to $30 from $39 and lowered his earnings estimates. The primary motivation for the reductions is Crockett’s revised forecast for Paramount Pictures, which calls for a likely “movie ebb” in 2019. Also, while he considers a merger between Viacom and CBS “decidedly likely” by 2020, a reunion isn’t apt to spark a wider takeover… Read


Dealmakers Say M&A Pace Should Slow In 2019, But Ripe Media Targets Remain In Play

M&A 2018

The frenetic pace of mergers and acquisitions that reshaped Hollywood in 2018 is likely to slow in 2019, after media companies spent this year racing to adapt to a new world order in which technology giants have forged direct relationships with consumers and recommend entertainment experiences that are tailored to an individual’s tastes and preferences. “Global platforms like Netflix, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon are exerting enormous pressure on… Read


New York Yankees Talking With Amazon And Sinclair About Possible Bid For YES Network – Report

The New York Yankees, owners of 20% of regional sports network YES, are in talks with Amazon and Sinclair Broadcast Group about a bid for the remaining 80% of it, according to the Wall Street Journal. Disney is reviewing bids for the 22 RSNs owned by 21st Century Fox. As it moves toward the closing of its $71.3 billion acquisition of most of Fox, Disney has agreed with regulators to sell off the regional networks so as to avoid overlaps with ESPN. The worth of the entire… Read


Concord Music Group Acquires Samuel French In Landmark Theater Licensing Deal

Concord Music has acquired 188-year-old theater publisher and licensing mainstay Samuel French, combining it with other assets in its burgeoning Concord Theatricals unit. The deal, whose terms were not disclosed, “fulfills a significant and ongoing commitment to theater,” the company said. Concord Theatricals represents a list of top-shelf musicals from the catalogs of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, George and Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Kurt Weill and… Read


Gray TV And Raycom Must Divest Stations In Nine Markets In Order To Gain DOJ Approval For Merger

The pending $3.6 billion merger of Gray TV and Raycom, one of the two mega-deals poised to transform the local TV sector, is facing final regulatory conditions before it can proceed. Antitrust regulators at the Department of Justice today ordered the companies to divest stations in nine markets in order to avoid a scenario where the combined company owns more than two of the CBS, ABC, NBC or Fox affiliates in any single market. Without shedding stations, the company would… Read


AT&T Gains Upper Hand On DOJ In Appeals Court Arguments Of Lawsuit Over Time Warner Deal


A panel of three judges hearing the government’s appeal of its lawsuit aiming to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger peppered a Department of Justice lawyer with critical questions while going notably easier on the attorney for AT&T. This morning’s nearly two-hour session at the District of Columbia Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals, which was live-streamed on the court’s website, included solo appearances by lawyers for both sides as well as two “amici” representatives… Read