In a surprising turn of events, Paramount Global, the entertainment conglomerate, seems to be reconsidering the sale of BET Media Group, including popular entities like BET channel, BET+, VH1, and BET Studios. Initially announcing the abandonment of plans to sell a majority stake in BET Media Group in August 2023,
Paramount Global’s recent discussions with a management-led investor group suggest a possible change in strategy.
Among the potential bidders eyeing BET is media mogul Byron Allen, founder, and CEO of Allen Media Group. Allen, who had previously shown interest in acquiring the network, has returned with a compelling new offer – a hefty $3.5 billion.
This bid represents a significant increase from his initial attempt, where he collaborated with banks and private equity firms to present a $3 billion offer.
In an email directed to Paramount Global’s management and board, Byron Allen emphasized the necessity of securing the highest possible price for the sale of BET.
Allen expressed concerns about the potential for an inside sale at a below-market price, citing it as a breach of fiduciary duty to the company’s shareholders.
This development follows Tyler Perry’s criticism of the earlier bidding process, describing it as “disrespectful.” Perry, who had offered $2 billion during the previous round of bidding, openly rejected attempts to overvalue the network, stating, “Don’t try to get me to pay for something that’s not worth anywhere near the value.”
While Tyler Perry appears to have stepped away from further pursuing BET, Byron Allen remains actively engaged in the race to acquire the media group.
Allen’s commitment to making BET Black-owned again underscores the broader industry conversation about diversity and ownership within media and entertainment.
As the negotiations unfold, the fate of BET and its potential return to Black ownership hangs in the balance, awaiting Paramount Global’s final decision on the sale.
Black Wall St. MediaContributor