Business & Finance

Executives of Vivendi Universal were insisting that they expected at least one offer for the company's US entertainment assets to equal the $14 billion asking price by the close of business Monday, their deadline for the second round of bidding. They said a deal can be finalized by month's end, but they would not identify which potential buyer was most likely to meet their target. A report in The Wall Street Journal said chairman Jean-Rene Fourtou appeared to prefer the idea of a US entertainment giant that would combine most or all of Vivendi's assets with the NBC-TV unit of General Electric in an all-stock deal. But the Los Angeles Times reported that NBC "is known as a cautious bidder with a history of walking away from proposed acquisitions or mergers." Last week, cable-TV provider Comcast Corp. joined film industry giant Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. in pulling out of the bidding, both reportedly complaining that the $14 billion asking price is too high. That appeared to leave Viacom Inc., Liberty Media Corp., and a group of investors led by Edgar Bronfman Jr. and Cablevision Systems Corp. in the running for Vivendi's cable channels (USA, SciFi, and Trio) and/or Universal Studios and theme parks.

Another 500 workers were laid off, effective immediately, by IBM, the world's largest provider of computer hardware, at its Essex Junction, Vt., plant. A spokesman said 3,000 other employees would be required to take a week off without pay next month. Last year, IBM cut 988 jobs at the same plant. The company is Vermont's largest employer.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK