Paramount Halts BET Sale And Puts An End To Tyler Perry Buyout Rumor
Paramount has announced it is officially stopping the sale of its subsidiary, BET Media Group. The highly coveted purchase of a majority stake in the company would have included VH1 and BET cable networks alongside the BET+ streaming service.
However, this latest update makes the rumors of Black media moguls taking over the brand now void. Tyler Perry was a prominent name being circulated in the talks. According to the Wall Street Journal, Paramount decided to end talks of the sale due to the current numbers for it lacking “meaningful deleveraging of its balance sheet.”
Although the movie producer and studio owner never publicly commented on the matter, multiple sources confirmed he was one of many strong contenders. Other high-profile figures allegedly in discussions to buy out the media entity were Sean “Diddy” Combs, 50 Cent, Byron Allen, and Shaquille O’Neal. The private bidding war’s offers ranged from $2 to $3 billion, yet none of the assumed bidders have openly disclosed their price point.
Perry already owns a minority stake in BET, but could not cross the finish line to be the primary owner of the multimedia company. The WSJ also revealed that his bid was financially backed by Ariel Alternatives, a private equity branch of the asset management group Ariel Investments.
Despite being unable to own BET outright for now, Perry still hosts his own original programming on its streaming service, including All The Queen’s Men and Ruthless. While it is doubtful that the 53-year-old will make a statement on the failed acquisition, his work on the platform remains popular among viewers.
However, what is to come next for BET is still unclear, as Paramount has not stated whether or not it will revisit offers in the future for the brand. Those who were in favor of the media company being Black-owned again will now have to wait longer to see if that ever comes to fruition.