Following the sudden death of patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) and his equally shocking funeral, the Roy kids are back in the family business. In the fifth episode of this fourth (and last) season of Succession, the Roys have made their way to Norway to meet up with GoJo’s CEO Lukas Matsson (Alexander Skarsgård) in an attempt to secure the deal once and for all.
There’s a whole lot of numbers and stock talk being thrown around, in between the typical insults, bickering, and babygirl villainy, but don’t fret. We’re here to break down the GoJo deal in really simple terms and what episode 5’s ending really means for Kendall and Roman (Kieran Culkin).
What was Logan’s original deal?
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Season 3 of Succession kicked off with Waystar Royco planning to buy GoJo, a booming tech company that’d help modernize Waystar. Logan and Roman were particularly interested in GoJo because the acquisition would help Waystar enter the streaming market by revamping their streaming service, StarGo. It’s kind of like if Walt Disney decided to buy YouTube to make Disney+.
The plan eventually changes, with their first being an option for a potential merger on the table, but then that’s scratched out when Matsson offers to buy Waystar instead. Logan likes the idea and agrees to the deal that’d see GoJo buying Waystar and its subdivisions, including parks and cruises, Waystar Studios (their production company), and StarGo. News outlet ATN, however, would not be included in the deal and would stay under Logan’s ownership. Long story short: Logan keeps ATN, Matsson takes everything else and leaves Logan with a giant cash settlement.
Earlier in Season 4, we watched Logan attempt to rally the troops at ATN, where he expresses that his passion has always been news and that he’s ready to dedicate himself to fixing ATN. But the deal with GoJo (and the future of ATN) hits a roadblock when the kids decide to rally the board to vote against the deal, arguing that Matsson’s cash settlement isn’t enough. We know Kendall, Roman, and Shiv (Sarah Snook) were just hellbent on screwing their dad over, but their power play backfires when Logan gets on a plane to see Matsson and, well, dies instead.
What is the new GoJo deal?
Credit: Graeme Hunter/HBO
Logan’s death changes the whole playing field, with Waystar’s stock dropping by 20% after his passing and regaining only 10% of it after Kendall and Roman were announced as co-CEOs. As Matsson aptly points out in episode 5, why would he pay more to buy something that’s currently on sale? So he suggests a new deal. Rather than paying more for Logan’s original deal — let’s call it Waystar standard — he suggests buying Waystar and ATN for $187 billion. Think of it as the Waystar deluxe package.
In this new deal, Matsson would essentially own all of Waystar. Naturally, it’s a huge decision for the kids who’d not only be giving up ATN, their dad’s favorite child, but his entire legacy, which they’ve been desperately trying to be a part of since Season 1. Kendall and Roman scramble to find a counter-offer, which at one point includes tanking the deal — meaning they’d stay CEOs until further notice (wouldn’t Kendall love that?) — but eventually they get into a giant fight with Matsson where Roman pours his heart out.
‘Succession’ Season 4, episode 4: What does Kerry whisper to Roman?
While Roman thinks their fight obliterated any chance for the deal, it does the exact opposite, with Matsson bumping up the price to a whopping $192 billion. The Roys have no other option but to agree. At the start of episode 5, they were ready to settle for anything between $144 to $146 billion, and that spicy $192 billion adds a whole extra $50 billion to their bank accounts. Sure, these feel like silly little numbers on a screen, but a casual extra $50 billion is a sum of money I can’t even compute.
So, what’s the state of the GoJo deal now? Well, Matsson is officially set to buy Waystar, its subsidiaries, and ATN for $192 billion, and is already planning his takeover through employment cuts. Shiv is thrilled by the news, while Kendall and Roman look depressed as ever.
What’s going to happen next?
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Succession loves a plot twist, so there’s a chance that Kendall and Roman might not agree to this new deal. It’s hard to imagine why they wouldn’t, but episode 5 also sets up the upcoming presidential election, which ATN could have a major role in. Kendall and Roman both voice their apprehension towards a European taking over an intrinsically American news outlet, fearing that he might tank ATN’s “credibility” with its ride-or-die, Fox-esque audience.
ATN’s involvement in the upcoming election might mean that the boys will still try to maintain some control over the news network by any means necessary. There’s also the Pierce Global Media elephant in the room — remember the bidding war the kids get into in Season 4’s first episode? While Logan initially wanted to buy Pierce so he could merge it with ATN, rendering him the sole owner of one massive news conglomerate, the kids made the highest bid for PGM for, quite literally, shits and giggles. It’s a little bit ambiguous what, if anything, has happened with PGM since then; if they have successfully acquired Pierce, it’s unclear if it will be under their sole control or if it will be merged with ATN after all, thereby going to Matsson as part of that deal.
If Pierce does go to Matsson, he’d be the exclusive owner of two of the biggest news outlets in America, right on the precipice of a high-stakes election, which means entirely one thing — shit’s about to go down. It’s hard to tell whether or not the new GoJo deal will be a big win for the Roys…or a crushing loss.
Season 4 of Succession is now streaming on HBO Max. (opens in a new tab)