Le Monde | • Updated | By
saving the team Mission impossible. the indestructible Kung Fu Panda proposes to the . In any case the producer says. Jeffrey Katzenberg, head of DreamWorks, creator of the famous plantigrade, Shrek or Ice Age, spoke Tuesday 1 st March the hypothesis of a merger with the legendary Major Hollywood, Paramount Pictures.
This is great since Philippe Dauman, the new CEO of Viacom, the parent company of Paramount, recently discussed assuming an opening of the capital of its subsidiary. But old veteran studios, boiling Katzenberg does not like half measures and wants to swallow entirely its competitor. What appears difficult because of their size difference. At just over $ 2 billion (1.8 billion euros), DreamWorks is two times cheaper than its target.
It is not certain that the transaction is done, especially as Viacom, he needs money, does not intend to cede control of his nugget. But his choices are constrained. Because the group has become the sick man of American media. Cable giant, owner of the MTV television channels and Nickelodeon, he confronts the declining number of subscribers increasingly attracted by the offers on the Internet.
A phenomenon that affects all companies in the sector but which doubles as Viacom a painful transition. The builder, Sumner Redstone, 92, comes in his home in Beverly Hills when his wives, mistresses and daughter, without waiting, are already fighting over the inheritance. For years, the company runs out of steam. Sign that does not deceive, in five years, it spent $ 15 billion more than its accumulated profits, to support its share price by buying its shares. As a result, debt has skyrocketed to more than $ 12 billion.
Yet the cinema as television are capital-intensive industries, intensive fresh and capricious money on profitability. Paramount, the producer of Godfather and Raiders of the Lost Ark, is not able to regain control and was left behind by his rivals in the Top entries in 2015, despite the exploits of placid Sponge Bob or Tom Cruise intrepid hero of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. For the Oscars awarded Sunday 28 February, only The Big Short has obtained a significant distinction for the best film adaptation.
The woes of Viacom mask the great dilemma are immersed every major American media. They both need money and content. And are sometimes tempted to sell one for the other. Hence the question of the sale of all or part of Paramount. The old sector crocodiles, as John Malone and Rupert Murdoch went on hunting. With the help of his great panda, Jeffrey Katzenberg would like to invite to the feast.