After a clash with Sharstone, Paramount is expected to fire Bob Bakish as CEO.

Three people with knowledge of the situation say that Paramount is planning to fire its chief executive Bob Bakish. This will add to the uncertainty in the Hollywood group, controlled by Shari, as it continues to hold merger talks with Skydance Media, and prepares to make another bid.

People familiar with the matter say that a counterbid could be received by the company as early as this week.

Bakish worked at Paramount, and its predecessor Viacom for over two decades. Redstone appointed Bakish CEO of Viacom, and then he became the head of CBS after its merger with Viacom.

Bakish, who was previously seen as loyal to Redstone and a supporter of Skydance, is now at odds with her about the Skydance proposal, which has been criticized by shareholders, who claim that its structure favors her, but excludes them. Bakish was “uncooperative”, according to a person familiar with the situation, during the sale process.

Bakish’s fate at the company would be decided at a Sunday board meeting. Bakish’s expected dismissal would be the latest twist to a long-running and messy drama at Paramount. The Hollywood studio is known for films and TV shows like The Godfather Titanic, and Star Trek.

Paramount, who competes against bigger rivals like Netflix, loses billions of dollars with its streaming service, while it struggles with the long-term demise of its television channels.

Investors have soured on Paramount’s prospects, and the stock’s valuation has dropped by half in the last year to $8bn.

David Ellison is the CEO of Skydance, who is backed in his deal by his billionaire dad, Oracle founder Larry Ellison and private equity firms RedBird & KKR. His company is pursuing a complex deal whereby his company will buy National Amusements for $2bn, which owns almost 80 percent of Paramount voting shares. Paramount would buy Skydance in a stock transaction for $5bn.

Some Paramount shareholders are opposed to the proposed Skydance structure and have threatened legal action if the deal goes through. Apollo’s all-cash bid of $26bn for Paramount has been rejected, and four board members have since withdrawn their nominations for reelection.

John Rogers said that a deal that favors Shari to the detriment of everyone else is “extremely problematic”.

He said, “It feels like a company that is in chaos.”

Skydance is in exclusive talks with Paramount, which are expected to conclude on May 3 but may be extended. According to those familiar with the situation, Sony and Apollo wanted to make their joint offer as soon as possible before May 3. Skydance hopes to conclude negotiations by the beginning of June.

Apollo is still evaluating the structure of the bid, and if it will include Legendary Entertainment – the movie studio in which it purchased a partial stake early 2022. This year the studio has enjoyed a number of successes, including Dune: Part Two. These have boosted its finances.

Analysts say that a deal between Japan’s Sony Corporation and Apollo could face regulatory issues.

Paramount will report its earnings on Monday after the market close.

Ellison and Paramount have a long-standing relationship. Skydance co-produced several hits, including Top Gun Maverick, Mission Impossible. Ellison also expanded his studio to include animation, television and sports.

Skydance plans to recapitalise its company under Ellison’s leadership. Ellison would also install new management including Jeff Shell, a former NBCUniversal executive now working for RedBird.

Paramount and Sony declined comment.

The shares of Paramount rose in the fall amid speculation it might be acquired. However, they are down 18% this year.