Shari Redstone sells National Amusements real estate assets to make $40M debt payment: sources

Shari Redstone’s National Amusements — the holding company that controls the voting stock in media giant Paramount Global — has sold off a chunk of its real estate holdings in a scramble to make a $40 million debt payment due this week, The Post has learned.

The media heiress, who is fighting to keep control of both National Amusements and Paramount — the remnants of an empire built by her late father, Sumner Redstone, that includes CBS, the Paramount+ streaming channel and movie studio, and cable TV networks including Comedy Central, Nickelodeon and MTV — ponied up roughly $27 million of the cash on Tuesday, according to sources close to the situation.

The frenzied asset sales come as Redstone has put National Amusements up for auction — a process that appears to be weakening as prospective bidders including Apollo Global Management reportedly have dropped out.

National Amusements has sold the land under some of its cinemas like the Showcase Cinema De Lux chain. J.C. RICE

“It’s confirmation that her financial flexibility is somewhat limited,” a source close to the situation said of the real estate sales.

National Amusements declined comment.

As of now, the only known remaining interested buyer for National Amusements is David Ellison’s Skydance Media, which also wants to buy Paramount in what would be a complex deal that includes merging movie studios, sources said.

Paramount, which has an independent board and is exploring its own options, has recently ended potential merger talks with Warner Brothers Discovery, according to news reports.

National Amusements — which will continue to owe $300 million to a group of hedge-fund creditors — paid $27 million on Tuesday after selling off land under aging movie theaters it owns in Massachusetts, the sources said.

To pay the remaining $13 million coming due Friday, Redstone is expected to borrow money from an existing line of credit extended by her banker Byron Trott’s BDT & MSD Partners, according to sources.

Shari Redstone is fighting to keep control of both National Amusements and Paramount. Getty Images

The $40 million payment due March 1 has no grace period, so there is a real risk of default if all the money is not paid in full, sources said.

The money-losing company’s needs to make its next payment of $180 million by May 2025.

“Maybe it indicates that the probability of getting a sale done is not that high,” a source close to the situation said, arguing that a bigger drawdown on the credit line may have indicated greater confidence in a deal.

Still, real estate sales are preferable to selling some of National Amusement’s shares in Paramount, which would loosen her control over the companies, according to a source close to Paramount and Redstone.

“I think the sales processes are for real and whether something happens will depend on what is in front of her,” a source closely following the situation said.

National Amusements controls the voting stock in Paramount though it owns less than 10 percent of its shares. Diego –

“She’s fine for now,” the source added.

National Amusements owns roughly 1,000 movie screens but most of its value comes from its shares in Paramount that are worth roughly $800 million.

The shares have super voting rights, though they only represent about a 10% stake in Paramount.

“I don’t think she will force something in the near term,” a source said. “She can wait for things to play out.”

Shari Redstone’s late father, Sumner built the company. Todd Williamson/Invision/AP

Still, Paramount is in talks with cable provider Charter Communications about a new carriage deal with its contract expiring in April.

There is speculation that with rampant chord cutting Charter could drastically cut the amount it pays Paramount for its programing, and that soon after other cable providers would follow suit.

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