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John Malone shows interest in 'undervalued' Viacom

Viacom Inc.has "great assets" and is "substantially undervalued" dueto the boardroom turmoil plaguing the company, billionaire John Malonereportedly said at a conference for media and technology executives.

Malone, who is known for helping to engineer deals in thespace, is thought by analysts to be interested in Viacom and possiblyAMC Networks Inc. andScripps Networks Interactive Inc.,Bloomberg News reported July 7.

Shares of Viacom closed at $43.04 on July 7, up about 4% forthe day. The stock hit a 52-week low of $30.11 on Feb. 11 but has been makingsome gains recently as speculation intensified about a possible of CEO Philippe Dauman. Viacomshares are up about 4.6% year-to-date.

Dauman is locked in a legal battle with Viacom chairmanemeritus Sumner Redstone and his representatives over Dauman's position on theboard of Viacom and a trust that holds Redstone's majority interest in Viacomand CBS Corp. WhileRedstone has attempted to remove Dauman and others from the boards of both histrust and Viacom itself, those decisions are being challenged in a court battlethat has questioned whether the 93-year-old Redstone still has the capacity tomake strategic decisions about his business holdings.