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Viacom pursuing deal to farm out stake in Paramount

Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman said Tuesday that Viacom is pursuing a deal to farm out a minority stake in Paramount Pictures.

Dauman said Viacom had been approached by potential partners looking to make a strategic investment in Paramount. He added that Viacom would maintain its control of the film studio after the deal.

Viacom's stock was halted for volatility on the news and reopened up 5 percent. Shares of Viacom climbed as much as 6 percent.

Mario Gabelli, one of Viacom's largest shareholders, told CNBC on Tuesday that Dauman should separate Paramount into a joint venture with a partner like Alibaba, buy a content producer like AMC and create a digital platform like Netflix.

Dauman, who made the initial announcement at the Jefferies Media & Communications Conference, said in a statement that he is discussing a deal with a small group of potential investors.

"In this time of change and enormous opportunity in our industry, a partnership will bring significant benefit to Paramount and Viacom, both strategically and financially, provide new opportunities for Paramount's employees and talent, and enhance long-term value for all Viacom shareholders," Dauman said in the statement.

The company is hoping to reach a deal by the end of the third quarter.

The company also said in a statement that it is retaining PJT Partners as its financial advisor.