Viacom is close to a deal to sell its roughly 82 percent stake in video-rental chain Blockbuster Inc., most likely to a group of private-equity firms, The Wall Street Journal said on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the situation.
VIACOM CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF Executive Sumner Redstone has in recent weeks hinted that the chain would be divested, but the company has not yet confirmed any plans, the newspaper noted.
According to the report, people familiar with the matter say Viacom, which owns CBS, MTV and Paramount Pictures, is in advanced talks to sell the video chain to a group of private-equity firms including Thomas H. Lee, Blackstone Group LP and Quadrangle Group LLC.
Details of the deal being considered are sketchy, but it could be valued at close to $2.5 billion, the approximate market value of Viacom’s stake in Blockbuster, the report said.
A representative for Viacom could not be reached for comment.
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