A deal between General Electric and Comcast to sell TV network NBC Universal to Comcast moved a step closer to reality yesterday amid reports of a key agreement between G.E. and Vivendi, essential to complete the sale. G.E. has offered to buy Vivendi’s 20% stake in NBC Universal for a reported $5.8 billion. Vivendi had an option that might allow it to offer its stake in NBC as a public offering, which would muddy the waters and likely cool Comcast’s ardor.
These figures value the entire NBC Universal sale price at about $29 billion, somewhat less than the $30 billion that was agreed to last month by both G.E. and Comcast.
A New York Times article (12/1) reports that a completed deal could be announced as soon as Thurs., 12/3.
The deal holds great potential value for Comcast, which would become a content developer in addition to its current transmitter role. If completed, the new NBC Universal would be a Comcast/G.E. joint venture. Comcast would hold a 51% stake adding in cash and its cable channels. G.E. would retain 49%. Insiders expect G.E. to eventually sell its share to Comcast.