UPDATE 3-Three Paramount board members to step down amid merger talks, WSJ reports

UPDATE 3-Three Paramount board members to step down amid merger talks, WSJ reports

(Updates disclosures in paragraphs 4 and 6, and adds detail from report in last paragraph)

April 10 (Reuters) – Three members on the board of Paramount Global are expected to exit the entertainment giant amid merger talks with Skydance Media, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the situation.

Earlier this month, a source told Reuters that Paramount’s board had agreed to enter exclusive merger talks with Skydance Media, led by CEO David Ellison, son of Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison.

A merger could result in Ellison combining Paramount with his independent media house that is behind films such as “Top Gun: Maverick” and “Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One.”

Paramount declined to comment on the report that said former Spotify executive Dawn Ostroff, Sony Entertainment ex-president Nicole Seligman and Redstone attorney Rob Klieger were expected to step down in coming weeks, the Journal reported.

Seligman, who is also on the board of ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, and Ostroff are on a special committee of independent directors tasked with pursuing the best possible deal for Paramount, whether that is with Skydance or another suitor, the report added.

Rob Klieger did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment and the other two directors could not be immediately reached.

The potential departures would reduce Paramount’s board to eight members.

The exits could be disclosed in an SEC filing by Paramount as soon as this week, the report said. (Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)