By Jessica Toonkel and Liana B. Baker
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sumner Redstone’s National Amusements Inc is consulting investment bankers about strategic options for Viacom Inc’s Paramount Pictures, including possibly selling a stake in the film studio or some of its Los Angeles real estate, sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.
It is unclear what other scenarios National Amusements, which controls 80 percent of the voting shares of Viacom, is considering. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not permitted to speak to the media.
Representatives for National Amusement and Viacom declined to comment.
The fact that National Amusements is entertaining options for Paramount is significant because it could mean that a deal for the movie studio could happen even without Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman leading the process. Redstone has said he is considering removing Dauman and members of the board.
National Amusements earlier this week amended Viacom’s bylaws that created hurdles for Dauman to sell a stake in the studio unless he obtained the approval of the entire board of the media company.
On Thursday, Dauman told an investor conference that he was pushing ahead with plans to sell a 49 percent stake in Paramount, and he was also looking to unlock the value of the film studio’s real estate holdings.
(Reporting by Liana Baker and Jessica Toonkel; Editing by Anna Driver and Tiffany Wu)