Richard Bell

Viacom to sell majority stake in 'big six' Hollywood film studio

US mass media firm Viacom is set to sell off a majority stake in Paramount Pictures, the Hollywood film and television studio.

The company’s chief exec, Philippe Dauman, confirmed Viacom had been approached by several buyers and intended to explore opportunities with some investors.

According to the BBC, earlier this month Viacom reported a 6% year-on-year dip in its quarterly revenue, which fell to around £2.2bn, while Paramount Pictures posted a $146m operating loss.

Now, Viacom under pressure to bring its fortunes back on track.

The exact percentage of Paramount Pictures that Viacom is willing to sell has not been revealed, but online retailer Amazon and Alibaba, the Chinese e-commerce firm, have both been suggested as possible buyers.

Todd Juenger, an analyst with asset management company Sanford Bernstein, this week said Paramount Pictures is still worth around $4bn.

Founded in 1912, the studio is today considered among the ‘big six’ Hollywood production and distribution firms, alongside Walt Disney Studios, NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Entertainment.

In 2006 Viacom became the parent company of Dreamworks SKG, the studio behind films such as Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon, but the partnership ended in 2008.

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