Paramount in Exclusive Talks to Sell BET Network for $1.6 Billion

Paramount in Exclusive Talks to Sell BET Network for $1.6 Billion

Paramount Global is in advanced discussions to sell Black Entertainment Television (BET) for $1.6 billion to a group of buyers including BET CEO Scott Mills and Chinh Chu, who heads the private equity firm CC Capital.

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Sources familiar with the matter, who asked to remain anonymous, revealed that the current offer ranges from $1.6 billion to $1.7 billion. This marks a continuation of discussions that started last year when the same group considered a bid just under $2 billion. The talks were revived after Shari Redstone, a controlling stakeholder of Paramount, ended a proposed merger with Skydance Media, led by David Ellison.

Neither Paramount nor Chu’s representatives commented on the situation. Mills also did not respond to requests for comments. The news positively impacted Paramount’s stock, which rose 4.2% to $10.56 at 2:28 p.m. in New York.

In addition to Mills and Chu, media mogul Byron Allen had previously offered $3.5 billion for BET and VH1, emphasizing the importance of BET being Black-owned. Actor and filmmaker Tyler Perry, an investor in the BET+ streaming service, also explored purchasing a stake in the company. Perry criticized the sale process last year, calling it “disrespectful” and argued that the asking price was significantly inflated.

BET, founded in 1980 by Robert L. Johnson, was sold to Viacom, now Paramount, in 2001 for approximately $3 billion. The network boasts strong connections with prominent Black entertainment figures such as Tyler Perry, Kenya Barris, and Rashida Jones, who are involved with BET Studios.

Paramount aims to reduce costs by $500 million to enhance profitability, making the potential sale of BET a strategic move in achieving this goal.

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