BARRY DILLER STEPS DOWN FROM VIVENDI UNIVERSAL

Remains CEO of USA Interactive as Company Looks to Sell Assets

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LOS ANGELES (AdAge.com) -- Barry Diller has resigned as co-CEO of Vivendi Universal's Vivendi Universal Entertainment as the financially troubled French company looks to sell some of its major assets.

Studio and theme parks
Vivendi Universal wants to sell Universal Studios, Universal theme parks and TV production company. One interested bidder includes former oilman Marvin Davis, who has offered $20 billion for Vivendi Universal Entertainment and the Universal Music Group. Vivendi is also looking to sell some of its cable networks, and possible suitors include Viacom and MGM.

Mr. Diller was appointed interim

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CEO of the U.S.-based entertainment assets last year while Vivendi Universal concentrated on repaying a massive debt.

"My executive role was never intended to be permanent," Mr. Diller said in a statement today. He added that it was appropriate to move now while Vivendi Universal entertains bids for its entertainment assets.

Mr. Diller served as co-CEO with Vivendi Universal's chairman, Jean-Rene Fourtou.

His own bid?
Still, Mr. Diller make not necessarily be looking to walk away. Speculation is that he may be interested in making his own bid for one or more of the entertainment unit's assets, possibly the film studio.

Mr. Diller will remain CEO of USA Interactive, which operates the Home Shopping Network, Ticketmaster, Match.com and Expedia, among other companies. He has a 5.4% stake in Vivendi Universal Entertainment.

Mr. Diller's experience is vast. He helped launch the Fox Television network and also served at the head of studios Paramount Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox.

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