Adweek: Paramount Hires a Bank to Explore the Sale of VidCon

The move comes amid the company’s broader merger and sales efforts

Paramount Global has hired the bank Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips to explore the sale of VidCon, a live event franchise focused on the creator economy, according to a source familiar with the matter.

The company is hoping to secure a strategic buyer for the experiential property rather than a private equity firm, according to the person. The source added that VidCon is not a distressed asset, but it’s unclear what price Paramount is seeking.

Representatives from both Paramount and Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips declined to comment.

The efforts to explore a sale of VidCon come at a critical juncture for Paramount, which is itself the target of several competing acquisition efforts.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Skydance Media has agreed in principle to acquire Shari Redstone’s National Amusements, which holds the majority of voting shares of Paramount Global, for around $2 billion in cash as part of ongoing exclusive negotiations.

A second part of that proposed deal involves Paramount Global acquiring Skydance in an all-stock deal of around $5 billion.

Meanwhile, ahead of the exclusive talks with Skydance, private equity firm Apollo Global Management submitted an offer of $26 billion to acquire Paramount. The company reportedly declined the offer because the firm hadn’t lined up financing.

The potential sale comes as merger and acquisition activity in the broader market has begun to pick up, according to Progress Ventures senior director Sam Thompson, who doesn’t have direct knowledge of the sale attempt. VidCon’s events operation isn’t core to Paramount’s main media and entertainment business, Thompson noted.

By selling VidCon, Paramount could invest the funds from the sale back into its core business, he added, making it a healthier operation and one more appealing to potential suitors.

“This is a consideration that has almost certainly been influenced by Paramount’s extraneous plans, but it also allows them to focus resources internally in more important areas,” Thompson said.

The expanding VidCon business
Paramount (then Viacom) acquired VidCon in 2018 from YouTube creators John and Hank Green for an undisclosed sum.

The property’s events bring together digital creators, fans and executives in adjacent industries, making it both consumer- and business-facing.

Though its flagship event takes place in June in Anaheim, Calif., VidCon has expanded to locales including London, Sao Paulo and Mexico City. Last September, Paramount hosted the inaugural East Coast VidCon in Baltimore, Md. In 2023, the Anaheim event attracted 55,000 attendees, according to the company.

VidCon generates revenue through a mix of ticket sales and sponsorships—last year, YouTube served as its title sponsor.


Published via: Adweek