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Five in Race for Vivendi Assets

News, 24 June 2003

Five bidders are battling for the US entertainment assets of Vivendi Universal.

Offers were due in Monday, and were received from cable group Liberty Media, movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, a consortium led by Vivendi board member Edgar Bronfman Junior and another group headed by oil billionaire Marvin Davis. In addition, General Electric, owner of the NBC television network, sent a letter declaring its interest.

Notable by its absence is Viacom. This group was interested in the unit’s cable-TV assets, but Vivendi is keen to sell the division – which also includes movie studios and theme parks – intact. However, Viacom may still be able to enter the race at a later date.

The Davis and Bronfman consortia have reportedly both bid for Universal Music Group as well as the other assets. Both are said to want 70% of the businesses, with Vivendi retaining a minority stake. Other offers have not included the music unit.

Bids are thought to value the entertainment portfolio at around $13 billion (€11.3bn; £7.8bn).

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff