(Adds background on Redstone, Paramount in paragraph 2, 3; details on company’s value in paragraph 4, 5)

April 3 (Reuters) – Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholder of TV giant Paramount Global, has reached a tentative agreement to sell her stake in the company to David Ellison’s Skydance Media, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Media mogul Redstone has been reluctant to part with one of Hollywood’s most prestigious studios.

However, the deterioration of the global entertainment business has wiped out more than $16 billion in value from the media company formed through the hard-fought reunion of CBS and Viacom in 2019.

The company’s market capitalization was below $10 billion in January.

Paramount could be worth $38.8 billion and its equity could be worth about $38 per share if the firm’s networks, production assets and DTC business were sold individually, Citi had estimated on Dec. 11 after news reports on sale interests.

Paramount, Skydance and a spokesperson for Shari Redstone did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.

Skydance is holding exclusive talks with a panel of independent directors at Paramount as part of a provisional accord to buy the Redstone family’s holding company National Amusements, the report added.

In January, a source told Reuters Skydance Media CEO David Ellison, son of Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, was exploring an all-cash bid to acquire National Amusements.

National Amusements directly or indirectly owns 77% of the voting shares of Paramount. It controls CBS, cable networks Nickelodeon and Comedy Central and also owns 800 film screens in the United States. (Reporting by Mehnaz Yasmin in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri and Maju Samuel)

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