Vivendi mulls Bronfman cash offer

Edgar Bronfman Jr has bid $8 billion in cash for Vivendi Universal’s US entertainment units, offering the embattled French company a chance to meet its disposals target for 2003.

    Vivendi is trying to shed crippling debt amassed under former CEO Jean Claude Messier

    Messier bought the Universal assets from the Bronfman family three years ago as part of his grand plan to build a media giant to rival AOL Time Warner.

     

    Though NBC, General Electric’s US television network, was seen as the frontrunner in the auction for Vivendi Universal Entertainment, its bid does not include an upfront cash payment, the Financial Times reported.

     

    Vivendi ran up debts of $13 billion after former Chief Executive Jean Claude Messier went on one of the corporate world’s most extravagant acquisition sprees. The company had wanted to raise $14 billion from a sale.

     

    Messier was ousted a year ago after shareholders became increasingly worried about the company's finances.

     

    SOURCE: Agencies


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