Billionaire media mogul Tyler Perry didn’t mince words about his frustration with how executives at Paramount Global carried out the bidding process for the sale of its BET business.
In a candid expression of disappointment, Tyler Perry has voiced his discontent with the lack of transparency with the deal. Perry, along with other prominent figures such as Sean “Diddy” Combs and Byron Allen, had shown interest in acquiring a stake in the unit, which includes the BET channel, BET+, VH1, and BET Studios.
BET Sale Drama
In August, the studio conglomerate led by Bob Bakish took down its “for sale” sign on the unit.
“We made this decision because the benefits of maintaining a majority stake in BET Media Group creates more value for Paramount than any of the proposals we received,” a source close to Paramount told The New York Post Summer 2023.
Though Perry didn’t share many details on what transpired, he added, “Don’t try to get me to pay for something that’s not worth anywhere near the value.” Paramount claimed it was.
Bids that were put on the table ranged from $2 billion to around $3 billion, including Perry’s which was reportedly supported by Ariel Alternatives, as Finurah previously reported.
Perry recently said he was not happy with the whole process.
During the Oct. 18 “Bloomberg Equality: An Evening with Tyler Perry” at The Gathering Spot in metropolitan Atlanta, he said, “I was disappointed about it for a number of reasons. The way it happened was disrespectful in a lot of ways,” Perry said, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
While he didn’t explain why he felt the process was disrespectful, he did add, “Don’t try to get me to pay for something that’s not worth anywhere near the value.”
When asked if he would reconsider if Paramount placed BET up for sale again, he said, “No.”
Currently, Perry maintains a minority stake in the BET+ streaming service and continues to provide content to Paramount programs, including BET and Nickelodeon, through a multiyear content partnership established in 2019. The media mogul remains a significant player in the production arena, operating his Tyler Perry Studios in Atlanta.
Perry conveyed his well-wishes to Paramount, saying, “God bless them. I’m still working with them. I wish them the best.”
If a deal had materialized, Paramount’s intention was to retain a minority stake in the business. This sale would have also provided the company with additional resources to focus on its primary streaming service, Paramount+, which currently boasts 61 million global subscribers. Paramount has been actively shedding assets, including book publisher Simon & Schuster, in a strategic move to concentrate on its core entertainment portfolio.