Viacom is still interested in the auction of Vivendi Universal’s US entertainment assets even though it has not made a bid.

Viacom’s name was notable by its absence when offers were submitted last week [WAMN: 24-Jun-03]. However, it has informally told Vivendi it would still like to buy the French group’s US cable networks and maybe its TV production units.

Vivendi would prefer to sell the stateside division – which also includes theme parks and movie studios – intact, hence Viacom’s reluctance to make a formal bid.

However, five groups are interested in all the assets: cable group Liberty Media; movie studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; a consortium led by Vivendi board member Edgar Bronfman Junior; another group headed by oil billionaire Marvin Davis; and General Electric, owner of the NBC television network.

Data sourced from: The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff