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The billionaire’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, disclosed in a securities filing on Monday that it has acquired about $2.6 billion worth of stock in Paramount Global, the owner of CBS, MTV, Nickelodeon, Showtime and Comedy Central, and the operator of the Paramount+ streaming service.
The deal instantly makes Buffett one of the largest outside investors in the company, aside from GAMCO founder Mario Gabelli. Paramount is controlled by National Amusements, which in turn is owned by Shari Redstone and the Redstone family.
Still, Buffett’s buy-in is a big deal for the company, which is facing tough competition in streaming from the likes of Disney, Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery, not to mention Netflix.
He is also a major investor in a couple of other companies in the streaming business: Apple, which has ridden its Apple TV+ service to critical acclaim, though it isn’t clear how many people watch it; and Amazon, which has taken a similar approach through its Amazon Prime Video service. Berkshire owns a stake in Charter Communications, which is working with Comcast on a streaming platform.
Buffett is known for buying companies that he believes will be long-term winners, or that are undervalued by the market, a bullish sign for Paramount.
Paramount will present its first in-person upfront since the COVID-19 pandemic began on Wednesday at New York’s Carnegie Hall.
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