Long queue of bidders for Vivendi auction
Tuesday 24 June 2003
As the nominal deadline for bidding on Vivendi Universal's entertainment assets passed yesterday, at least five media groups - including MGM and General Electric, the parent company of NBC - were believed to be in the running, with a sixth, Viacom, waiting in the wings for a possible slice of the action further down the line.
Hollywood's most alluring, and bizarre, garage sale in years - the assets include Universal Studios, the Universal Music Group, various cable stations and a theme park empire - was showing every sign of being a complex affair likely to drag out for several weeks, if not months.
Although the bidding process has not been made public, statements from would-be participants and confidential sources within Vivendi Universal suggest the following list of interested parties: Marvin Davis, the Los Angeles oil billionaire who bid $15bn for Vivendi Universal Entertainment (VUE) as early as last autumn; Edgar Bronfman, Jr, the man who sold Universal to Vivendi in the first place and is now assembling financing to get it back; Liberty Media, John Malone's group, which has indicated an interest in teaming up with another buyer; MGM, the weakest of the Hollywood studios which does not currently have a music or theme park division; and General Electric, seen as something of a long shot.
Viacom, which owns Paramount Studios, MTV and Blockbuster video, among other assets, is not believed to be in the first round of bidding, but has previously expressed an interest in buying VUE's Sci-Fi cable television channel.
Vivendi is anxious to get out of the Hollywood game to help fill its gaping debt hole.The company is expected to consider all the bids early next month, and would ideally like to pick a winner by the end of July.
New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site on Friday
New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain
- 1 Chinese authorities arrest 11 people over exhuming woman’s body to sell as corpse bride
- 2 Canadian actor punched in face after 'Islamophobia' experiment goes wrong in wake of Ottawa shooting
- 3 Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
- 4 Paul Hollywood: Police asked if I wanted them to arrest Mary Berry for vandalism after she 'defaced' my car
- 5 If you think Russell Brand’s new book is confused, you should read what his critics have to say about it
'Nasa Confirms Six Days of Darkness in December': No, they don't - it's a hoax
Tower of London poppies: Tens of thousands of people flock to see installation in its final days
Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson criticised for beer tweet
Woman blinded as a child can see again after hitting her head on a coffee table
Bryan Adams' heartstopping images of wounded British soldiers to go on show at Somerset House
Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not 'a magician with a magic wand'
Huge surge in Ukip support after EU funding row, according to new poll
Ukip ‘exploiting grooming scandal’ to secure party’s first police chief
Nigel Farage: 'There’s nothing wrong with white people blacking up'
Maureen Lipman says 'she can't vote Labour while Ed Miliband is leader'
Muslims, immigration and teenage pregnancy: British people are ignorant about almost everything
iJobs Money & Business
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Comission: SThree: SThree, International Recruitme...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £23250 Per Annum pro rata: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Pro rata ...
£40 - 48k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Manager to join...