Comcast, NBCU Negotiations Snag Over Valuation Of Vivendi's Stake: Reports

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Comcast's push to gain control of NBCU has evidently hit a snag over the valuation of the programmer's stake controlled by Vivendi.

According to a number of reports, the deal, which some had expected to be announced as early as this week, has stalled over the differential in valuing Vivendi's 20% stake in NBC Universal.

NBCU parent GE and Comcast hope to consummate a deal in which the cable company would control 51% of a joint venture, which would contain a host of cable networks, including USA Network, CNBC, Bravo, E! and G4, as well as NBC network and owned-and-operated TV stations.
Comcast and NBCU reportedly reached a valuation of about $30 billion for the programmer, which would have put Vivendi's stake at some $6 billion. However, a report in The New York Timesindicates that Vivendi and NBCU are at odds at valuing the stake by at least $500 million.
A story in Los Angeles Times, meanwhile, cites a source with knowledge of the negotiations who puts the difference at some $900 million.

As part of the deal that created NBCU in 2004, Vivendi has the right every Nov. 15 to force an initial public offering of the stake, sell it to GE or a third party, or hold onto it. That right extends into December (the Friday of the first full week of the month, or Dec. 11 this year).