Ellison could take control of Paramount with financial help from other Skydance investors including his father Larry Ellison, Oracle's co-founder, the report said.

The investors, whose talks with National Amusements are more advanced than other suitors, would buy a majority stake in the company from Shari Redstone and family who control the entertainment giant, it added.

Takeover interest in the company has been reported in the past. Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav and Paramount CEO Bob Bakish had met to discuss a potential deal between the two companies, a source told Reuters in December.

National Amusements directly or indirectly owns 77% of the voting shares of Paramount. Apart from Paramount, National Amusements controls CBS, cable networks Nickelodeon and Comedy Central and also owns 800 film screens in the United States.

Paramount could be worth $38.8 billion and 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.

Skydance Media, National Amusements and Larry Ellison did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment, while Paramount declined comment.

Investors in Skydance, the company behind "Top Gun: Maverick" include the family of CEO Ellison, as well as KKR, RedBird Capital Partners and Tencent, according to a July 2023 company statement.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)