Skydance CEO David Ellison Tells Staff Company Is “Stronger” Thanks to Paramount Talks: “We Will Keep Building”

Skydance Media CEO David Ellison acknowledged in an email to staff Tuesday evening that the company will not be assuming control of Paramount, after Shari Redstone ended talks following months of difficult negotiations.

A source said that talks stalled over multiple issues, including the valuation of Redstone’s National Amusements, a desire to have non-Redstone Class A shareholders vote to approve the deal, and regulatory concerns.

More from The Hollywood Reporter

“As you all know, for the last several months we have been actively exploring a transaction to acquire NAI and merge with Paramount Global, and today that chapter ended,” wrote in the email, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter.

The executive went on to praise the staff for executing on its film, TV and video game slate while he was occupied with the deal talks, and suggested that the company will emerge in better shape thanks to the experience.

“Skydance is stronger than ever because of you, and we are stronger because of this process,” he wrote. “For starters, we are smarter. We know more about our business, our potential, and the marketplace at large. We are more confident than ever — not just about Skydance but about the future of entertainment and our ability to continue building a next generation content company on our terms, with the greatest capital, creative and technological resources and talent in the industry. The bottom line: our future is incredibly bright and tomorrow we will keep building to make it even better.”

And he also heaped some praise on Paramount, with which Skydance still has an output deal.

“Paramount will always hold a special place for me, we had our first slate deal with the studio and continue to co-own several marquee franchises together,” he wrote. “I have great respect for the legacy of Paramount, value our ongoing partnership and wish them the best.”

Read Ellison’s email, below.

Team,

As you all know, for the last several months we have been actively exploring a transaction to acquire NAI and merge with Paramount Global, and today that chapter ended.

While I was focused on this effort, you all doubled down on Skydance. In just a short time since we went back to work after a historic two guild strike, you have delivered more TV product in our company’s history, hit video game franchises, Emmy-winning sports content, and a feature film slate that is our industry’s finest. For all of this and more, I thank you.

Skydance is stronger than ever because of you, and we are stronger because of this process. For starters, we are smarter. We know more about our business, our potential, and the marketplace at large. We are more confident than ever – not just about Skydance but about the future of entertainment and our ability to continue building a next generation content company on our terms, with the greatest capital, creative and technological resources and talent in the industry. The bottom line: our future is incredibly bright and tomorrow we will keep building to make it even better.  

Paramount will always hold a special place for me, we had our first slate deal with the studio and continue to co-own several marquee franchises together. I have great respect for the legacy of Paramount, value our ongoing partnership and wish them the best.  

Finally, again, I want to thank each of you for your patience and support as we chart the next phase of Skydance. We have a lot to look forward to.

Best,

David Ellison

Best of The Hollywood Reporter