According to the NYT, Sony and Apollo are continuing the bidding process for Paramount, but are reticent to comment on the earlier plan

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(Reuters) – Sony (NYSE:) Pictures Entertainment and Apollo Global Management (NYSE:) have signed confidentiality agreements that will allow them to review Paramount’s books ahead of a potential bid to acquire the film studio’s assets, the New York Times reported Friday, citing people familiar with from matter.

However, according to the newspaper, the companies are withdrawing from their initial plan to make an all-cash offer of $26 billion to Paramount.

This month, Reuters reported that Paramount was in talks to share its books with a consortium consisting of film studio Sony and a U.S. buyout firm. CNBC later reported that Sony was rethinking its offer, which sent Paramount’s shares lower and helped the Japanese company’s stock price rise after forceful earnings.

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According to the New York Times, Sony and Apollo are currently considering various approaches to acquiring Paramount’s assets.

Paramount declined to comment on the report, and Sony and Apollo did not immediately respond to a request for comment overdue Friday.

Like other studios, Paramount is struggling to recover from last year’s months-long strikes by Hollywood writers and actors, a frail advertising market and falling cable subscriptions in the United States, which reduced profits for its television business.

Paramount was also in talks with Skydance Media, but the exclusivity period in negotiations ended earlier this month.

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