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The latest news has bidders and bankers alike insisting Vivendi is keeping its sales tag artificially high, giving parties mixed signals and changing its demands in midstream. In French, it's called being a coquette.
AND THEN THERE WERE… NONE?
Is Liberty’s Malone the Latest to Drop Out of VUE Bidding… Or Is It All Part of the Negotiations?
Hey, we know it has nothing really to do with the music business... but doesn’t anybody want to buy a slightly used media company?

Jean Rene-Fourtou’s Vivendi Universal Entertainment auction continues, but where are the bidders?

Liberty’s John Malone is the latest to balk at the $14 billion asking price, and may drop out of the bidding. That move comes less than two weeks after MGM withdrew, leaving Vivendi with just General Electric and a group headed by Edgar Bronfman Jr. as possible buyers.

Vivendi had previously rebuffed an offer from a consortium headed by oil magnate Marvin Davis, while Viacom has indicated it has no interest in Vivendi properties outside of its cable channels.

Of course, it all could be posturing in the ongoing negotiations.

The latest news has bidders and bankers alike insisting Vivendi is keeping its sales tag artificially high, giving parties mixed signals and changing its demands in midstream. In French, it's called being a coquette.

With the number of suitors now diminishing, GE’s NBC is given the best chance of acquiring VUE’s entertainment assets by merging Universal’s film and TV studios with its own broadcast network and cable channels, such as MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo and the just-acquired Telemundo.

Meanwhile, ex-Seagram and Universal chief Bronfman is reportedly preparing a second offer for the properties in B-minor, with a killer bridge.

Liberty’s cold feet has been attributed to its recent decision to pay $7.9 billion for Comcast’s 57% stake in home shopping channel QVC. Relations have reportedly been strained between Liberty and Vivendi. Liberty earlier this year filed a suit against VUE charging it of hiding its financial problems to entice the company into a stock swap that made Liberty a 3.6% shareholder in the company. Liberty originally offered $14 billion for all of Universal, including the UMG music group, which has since been pulled off the table by Vivendi. All bidders have been asked to submit another round of bids by Aug. 18.

VUE has also invited a bid from Comcast, who missed the first round of offers, further confusing the situation.

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