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Posts Tagged ‘Vivendi’
Several news outlets reported last night that General Electric had reached an agreement with Vivendi to buy the remaining stake in NBC Universal that it did not yet own. This long-expected agreement now paves the way for Comcast to step in and pick up a controlling interested in NBCU from GE.
Our sister blog TVNewser has a run down of some of the coverage on the deal. Among the highlights:
- GE will reportedly buy Vivendi’s 20 percent stake in NBCU for about $5.8 billion.
- The 51 percent stake in NBCU that Comcast has been eying is valued at about $30 billion
- If the GE-Comcast deal doesn’t close by the end of next year, GE has agreed to pay Vivendi an additional $2 billion.
Read more: General Electric, Vivendi Agree On NBCU Stake, Paving Way for Comcast Deal –TVNewser
Previously: Zucker To Lead Comcast-NBCU Venture
Rumors, theories and conjectures have been swirling since The Wrap reported yesterday that a deal between cable provider Comcast and GE-owned NBC Universal “had already been completed at a purchase price of $35 billion.”
But reps from Comcast later told Bloomberg, “the report that Comcast has a deal to purchase NBC Universal is inaccurate.”
However, that same report revaled that “negotiations for Comcast to buy about 50 percent of NBC Universal have been under way for at least two months.” Such a deal would depend on whether French company Vivendi SA decides to sell its 20 percent stake in NBCU.
After the jump, what some people around the industry are saying about the possible deal.
Update: Our sister blog TVNewser has an email from NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker to employees. Of the future of Vivendi’s stake, Zucker said, “They have not yet made us aware of any final decisions about their future with us; should they choose to exit, there are a number of possible things that could happen.”
One source told the Reporter that it may not be the right time to sell, but Vivendi is very pleased with NBC/Uni’s oversight.
That certainly wasn’t always the case. But now Vivendi has gone out of its way to praise NBC/Uni chair Jeff Zucker.
The media and telecom conglomerate has an annual option window that ends Friday. During that period, it can trigger a sale by notifying GE, which controls 80% of NBC Uni. The industrial conglomerate in turn can opt to buy those shares or let Vivendi sell up to $4 billion of them in the public market the following year.
First Vivendi shifted its weight away from Mr. Jobs, and now NBC is following suit. Rivals from MTV and Amazon.com, EMI and Wal-Mart are also nipping at the digital music titan’s heels.
Per Reuters: NBC decided not to renew its contract with iTunes, pulling Battlestar Gallactica and Heroes from the teeny-tiny screen and becoming the second major media company to challenge Apple.
Per the The New York Times: MTV last week said it was going to fold its digital music service into a venture with the owners of the Rhapsody, “as part of a renewed challenge to Apple’s market-leading iTunes store.”
Per the Financial Times: “NBC appears to be embracing a rival. The media group, owned by General Electric, has begun to sell digital downloads through Amazon.com, the online retailer that is gearing up to challenge iTunes.”