Edgar Bronfman Jr. has lined up about a $9-billion commitment from a group headed by Wachovia Corp. to help finance a possible bid for the U.S. entertainment assets his family formerly owned, a source familiar with the deal said.
Merrill Lynch & Co. also has agreed to help finance debt as Bronfman attempts to buy back much of the entertainment assets his family’s Seagram Co. sold to Vivendi Universal in 2000 for $34 billion, sources said. As part of the proposed Bronfman deal, Cablevision Systems Corp. also would merge its cable channels, including AMC, with Universal’s television holdings, which include the SciFi cable channel.
Bronfman, however, has not secured all the financing he needs and has been talking to various private equity firms to help finance a Universal deal. Representatives of Wachovia, Merrill Lynch and Bronfman declined to comment.
-- Richard Verrier