Vivendi holding out for more money for NBCU stake


Any Comcast deal to acquire a majority stake in NBC Universal from General Electric is contingent upon Vivendi agreeing to sell its 20% stake in NBCU. So, is it surprising to anyone that the Wall Street Journal reports that Vivendi is holding out for a bigger payoff?

Recent reports have said that GE and Comcast have agreed to value NBCU at $30 billion. Simple math puts the Vivendi share at $6 billion. Vivendi’s annual window to require GE to either buy its stake or sell it in an IPO opened on November 15th and closes December 10th.

According to the WSJ, Paris-based Vivendi is pushing for more than $6 billion for its 20%, in part due to the weakness of the dollar against the euro. Also, the report says, Vivendi wants some guarantee that GE will buy back at least part of its stake if the Comcast deal is blocked by regulators.

The report says, though, that the newspaper’s sources expect a deal to be worked out.

RBR-TVBR observation: We’re betting that the deal will get done, but Vivendi will drive a hard bargain. Then we move on to the part that our readers are most interested in – will Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company, sell off the broadcasting assets?