This is crazy, but not really surprising in this private equity driven world…Andrew Ross Sorkin reports that PE firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company secretly made a $50 billion bid last month for Vivendi, the French entertainment and telecom giant, which makes it the largest leveraged buyout offer in history.
The talks went on for some time, and reached a fevered pitch late last month after taking place in fits and starts, but may have stalled if not collapsed entirely….some sources cited in the story says that it remained possible the talks could resume.
Of course, this is Vivendi, which has been through numerous incarnations over the years. It own Universal Music, and also own a 20 percent stake in NBC Universal (which would have made all sorts of interesting plays if the KKR-Vivendi deal happened).
In May, Vivendi rejected an informal break-up proposal by Sebastian Holdings, a little-known investment company run by Alexander Vik, a Norwegian businessman.
Update: MKTW: Vivendi’s statement: “This review, which included maintaining the current Vivendi assets within the group in order to create value, did not result in any proposition and has now ended.”