(Bloomberg) -- Six months into the battle to acquire Paramount Global, at least five potential suitors have emerged for the storied film and TV company. 

Reports that chair Shari Redstone — whose family company owns a controlling stake in Paramount — would be open to a sale first emerged in December, when it was revealed that she’d held talks with independent producer David Ellison about a deal. 

Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. Chief Executive Officer David Zaslav also expressed interest, before cooling on his pursuit. The process has now expanded to include multiple media executives, private equity firms and even a tequila billionaire. 

Along the way, Paramount has replaced its long-time chief executive officer, Bob Bakish, with a committee of three executives, shrunk its board from 11 to six members and attracted an activist investor attempting to influence the sale process. Its shares are down about 17% this year.

Here’s a rundown of who’s who in the running to acquire Paramount, or control of it — if Shari Redstone decides to follow through with the sale. The Redstone family controls 77% of Paramount’s voting stock through its family holding company, National Amusements Inc.

David Ellison’s Skydance Media

Skydance Media, the independent film and TV company led by Ellison, is the only bidder known to be in advanced negotiations to merge with Paramount. 

The son of Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison wants to take over the company through a complex process that would see him buy the Redstone family’s controlling stake in Paramount, then merge Skydance Media into Paramount at a $4.75 billion valuation. To satisfy shareholders who aren’t members of the Redstone family, and who are concerned about being diluted by his deal, Ellison has offered to invest billions of dollars more in share purchases and debt reduction.

His backers include RedBird Capital Partners and KKR & Co.

A special committee of Paramount board members has recommended Ellison’s latest proposal, which includes an option for non-voting shareholders to cash out a portion of their stock for about $15 per share. 

Apollo and Sony

During the Paramount board’s exclusive talks with Ellison, Apollo Global Management Inc. made a non-binding offer for the company in partnership with Sony Group Corp. The proposal was an all-cash offer for Paramount shares, plus the company’s debt — about $26 billion in total. 

Apollo had previously floated buying only Paramount’s film studio, but expanded its bid to the whole company and brought in Sony, which was most interested in the target’s film and TV library. After seeing its shares fall when the company’s involvement was made public, Sony has since backed away from proposing a full acquisition and indicated that it’s again only interested in the film studio. 

Apollo and Sony are now rethinking their approach.

Bronfman and Bain Capital

Former Warner Music Group chairman Edgar Bronfman Jr. is the latest media executive to throw his hat in the ring with a potential bid for National Amusements. 

Bronfman has teamed up with private equity firm Bain Capital on the $2 billion-plus offer, though the partnership hasn’t yet made the bid official and could opt against pursuing a deal. Bronfman started an investment firm, Waverley Capital, in 2017 to invest in media, sports and entertainment properties. It has owned stakes in companies like podcast network Wondery Inc. and meditation app Headspace Inc. 

Byron Allen

Media entrepreneur Byron Allen has been one of the most vocal interested parties in Paramount, making a $14.3 billion offer for the company in late January. Including debt, his proposal was worth about $30 billion. 

His Allen Media Group already owns 22 TV stations, along with the Weather Channel, compiled in a series of deals valued at more than $1 billion.

Allen confirmed in May that he remains interested in buying some or all of Paramount, and said there was “plenty of capital available” to support his bid, though he hasn’t formally named any co-investors. He has played up his existing ownership of TV stations as an advantage, saying that US regulators are likely to want an owner who already has FCC approval. 

Steven Paul

Film producer Steven Paul has assembled an investment group that includes the billionaire co-founder of Patrón tequila for his bid to take over Paramount. 

Paul has made an offer more than 10% above Ellison’s $2.25 billion bid for National Amusements, and wants to acquire a majority stake in that business with the Redstones continuing to own a piece. Last week, he sent National Amusements a letter saying he had funding in place for a potential deal. Paul is a friend of Shari Redstone’s and has an office on the Paramount lot. 

The only member of Paul’s investment group who’s spoken out about the bid is John Paul DeJoria, co-founder of both Patrón and Paul Mitchell hair care products. The 80-year-old entrepreneur has said he wants a chance to “promote positive information” on Paramount’s CBS news network, claiming that there “is not one news station that’s non-political.”

Paul’s other co-investors haven’t yet been named. 

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