Vivendi SA could make its decision about what to do with its 20% stake in NBC Universal at its Oct. 14 board meeting, Bloomberg reports, citing “a person with knowledge of the situation.”
The source said Vivendi might sell the stake because it is underperforming relative to the company’s other majority-owned operations.
Vivendi, which separately operates the world’s biggest music company–the Universal Music Group–has previously said that it considers its stake in NBCU "non-core," Bloomberg says. NBCU is owned by General Electric.
The article also quotes a research report from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. analysts saying that if Vivendi decides to sell its stake one of four things could happen: "GE may use its right of first refusal and buy the stake, Vivendi may sell the shares in the public market with the process controlled by GE, Vivendi may agree to sell in a private placement to a third party or the contract may be restructured for an initial public offering of all of NBC."
That same analyst report says "NBC’s total enterprise value may be $21 billion to $23 billion, including an estimated $5.1 billion in debt," according to Bloomberg.
–Elizabeth Jensen and Chuck Ross