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Bloomberg also reports Paris-based Richelieu Finance analyst Julien Batteau as saying that a leveraged management buyout of UMG was “more plausible” than an outright purchase by Apple, suggesting that UMG execs may team with Apple to make a bid.
RUMOR DU JOUR: APPLE MAY BID $6B FOR UMG
Vivendi Universal Director Flaps His Gums About Possible Sale
The brie ain’t out of the oven by a longshot, but a Vivendi Universal director has seen fit to add his special touch to the mix of rumors that have been swirling around a possible bid by Apple Computer for the French company’s Universal Music Group.

Claude Bebear, a prominent insurance executive and member of Vivendi’s board, told Bloomberg News that Apple will “probably make an offer for the music business, for about $6 billion,” while discussing other possible suitors for other Vivendi entertainment assets, including Liberty Media, General Electric and NBC.

Bebear called a possible bid of $6 billion for UMG “a bit low,” while saying Vivendi Universal Entertainment, which includes movie and television assets but excludes music, could be had for “around $10 billion.”

Guess you know it's really on the block when board members start talking price.

Bloomberg also reports Paris-based Richelieu Finance analyst Julien Batteau as saying that a leveraged management buyout of UMG was “more plausible” than an outright purchase by Apple, suggesting that UMG execs may team with Apple to make a bid. Paris paper Le Figaro yesterday reported that Doug Morris, Jimmy Iovine and Lyor Cohen bid $5 billion for UMG several months ago, but were turned down by VU.

As for Apple bidding on its own, analyst Batteau told Bloomberg, “I can't see how Apple could finance such a deal. And I don't understand the rationale for Apple.'' That's for Steve Jobs to know and us to find out.

Separately, Barry Diller’s USA Interactive sued VU yesterday over tax payments required by VU’s purchase of USA’s cable networks for $10.3 billion last year. Diller stepped down as Co-Chairman of VUE on March 19.
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