Cablevision Systems Corp.'s stock dipped and Vivendi Universal's rose on news that
former Seagram Co. Ltd. CEO Edgar Bronfman, Jr. was staging a bid to reclaim
Vivendi's U.S. entertainment assets.
Bronfman sold Seagram's entertainment companies, as well as its liquor and
beverage operations, to Vivendi in 2000, which ultimately led to a financial
crisis for the French company.
Bronfman wants to buy the Universal Studios and USA Networks Inc. operations back,
and he has lined up support from Cablevision chairman Charles Dolan and president
While Cablevision won't put in any cash, it has agreed to combine its Rainbow Media Holdings Inc.
cable networks with Vivendi Universal Entertainment, Vivendi's U.S. assets.
The cash flow from those assets would allow Bronfman to borrow more to mount
a $15 billion or so bid for the operation.
At the Banc of America Securities LLC media investor conference Wednesday,
Cablevision vice chairman Bill Bell said only, "It's safe to say
that everyone talks to everyone in this industry."
But other industry executives confirmed Cablevision's agreement with