Liberty Media Corporation, the investment vehicle of cable entrepreneur John Malone, has withdrawn from the bidding for the US media assets of debt-beset French giant Vivendi Universal.

According to an insider, VU told Liberty the stake it had slapped on the table was too low, at which the US company flounced out of the game.

General Electric’s broadcast unit NBC is thought to have the inside track in the bidding [WAMN: 21-Aug-03]. Also still in the running is a consortium led by Canadian entrepreneur Edgar Bronfman Junior, currently vice-chairman and director of Vivendi.

Vivendi’s board meets today (Tuesday) to review the offers remaining on the table. It does not expect the meeting's outcome to be the choice of a single buyer with which to negotiate.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff