GE Reaches Deal To Buy Vivendi's NBCU Stake: Reports

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General Electric has evidently reached a tentative pact to purchase Vivendi's 20% in NBC Universal, according to published reports.
The agreement for some $5.8 billion would pave the way for a joint venture that would put Comcast Corp. in control of the programmer.
GE, which owns 80% of NBC Universal, has to gain control of Vivendi's stake, in order to effect a transaction that would combine NBC Universal assets, including NBC, its owned-and-operated stations, Universal Studios and cable services USA Network, CNBC and Bravo, with Comcast's cable stable. For what is expected to be a 51% stake, Comcast also would contribute some $6 billion in cash and $9 billion in debt, while GE would also take on some $12 billion in debt.
At $5.8 billion, Vivendi's stake is less than the implied value of the joint venture assets, which Comcast and NBCU put at a reported $30 billion.
The valuation came, according to reports, after GE chief executive Jeffrey Immelt negotiated in Paris with Vivendi chief executive Jean-Bernard Levy last week.
The reports indicate that the Comcast-NBCU joint venture, which would be subject to regulatory approval, could be announced later this week.

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