General Electric’s talks to buy Vivendi’s 20 percent stake in NBC Universal stalled over how much the stake is worth, the New York Times reports, citing anonymous sources.
Without the deal, G.E. can’t proceed with a proposed plan to sell a controlling stake in NBCU to Comcast.
Vivendi and G.E. appear to be at least $500 million apart in how to value NBC U, the Times reports.
In a Reuters story about the negotiations, the newswires states: "While Vivendi and G.E. have not agreed on a price yet, the French media company’s acceptance of a staggered payment schedule shows it is willing to compromise to pave the way for [a deal between G.E. and] Comcast, the largest U.S cable service provider.
"Vivendi had previously asked to be paid fully upfront to avoid regulatory risk — U.S. antitrust enforcers are expected to take at least a year to scrutinize the Comcast-NBCU deal." [brackets added by TVWeek]
Reuters says that Vivendi has agreed to acccept payment for just a third of its total stake upfront.
–Elizabeth Jensen and Chuck Ross