One of the biggest news stories in the days leading up to Christmas was a report that Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav sat down with Paramount Global chief executive Bob Bakish to talk about a potential merger.

The prospect, however, was not exactly welcomed by investors as stocks of Paramount slipped 8% and Warner Bros. Discovery slid 5% in days following the news according to Nasdaq.

The news has baffled many. Paramount trying to sell off makes sense as it’s under intense pressure to find a partner or buyer due to its significant debt. WarnerMedia and Discovery have famously, sometimes disastrously PR wise such as the “Batgirl” incident, been trying to pay down the considerable debt it accrued from its own merging.

On that front, it has actually had some success; Warner Bros. Discovery is now on a positive growth trajectory, with its debt trending down and its free cash flow hitting $5+ billion this year.

Still, combining said companies would create a new company that would start out with substantial debt even as it would have a library of formidable media assets.

As Nasdaq points out, Warners and Paramount film releases have grossed a combined $2 billion domestically and nearly $5 billion globally at the box office this year – putting them ahead of any other studio.

Still, they suggest investors don’t seem to be liking the reports of a potential merger resulting in the downturn of stocks. Another take up at The New York Post suggests most analysts are highly sceptical about the idea of Zaslav’s WBD actually buying Paramount.

Reuters says the merger will create what analysts say will be the largest movie studio in Hollywood and a streaming business with the third-highest U.S. subscribers. The firms together also account for up to 40% of total time viewed on traditional TV.

That outlet also says any deal between the companies will likely happen after April 2024, the end of the two-year lock-up period after which Warner Bros Discovery can carry out another deal without suffering hefty tax implications.

The talks may also potentially encourage Universal owner Comcast, which has nearly $180 billion in market value to make its own move on Warner Bros Discovery.

Either way, next year looks set to see some potential major shake-up amongst legacy media.

The post Analysts Are Sceptical Of ‘Warnamount’ appeared first on Dark Horizons.

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