Jeff Zucker, the 44-year-old CEO of NBC Universal since February 2007, will be named to head the new joint venture between Comcast and General Electric, Reuters is reporting. Sources told Reuters that Zucker would have no clauses to leave after a specific period.
Meanwhile, one of the flies in the ointment that’s holding up General Electric’s sale of NBCU to Comcast just got a little bit more annoying. Vivendi, which owns 20 percent of NBCU, appears to be in no hurry to sell its share, currently valued at $6.3 billion.
Bloomberg reports the Paris-based media company has struggled to raise the $3 billion it needs for its own takeover of Brazilian phone operator GVT, and as a result, Vivendi may simply walk away from that deal, leaving it in no need of an immediate influx of cash.
“They can be a bit more greedy,” Standard & Poor’s equity research analyst Alexander Wisch told Bloomberg. “(Vivendi) can play the game because they are not desperate.”
GE and Comcast this week reportedly agreed to a valuation of NBC Universal of some $30 billion. That was a key first step toward a deal. If Vivendi agrees to sell its stake the deal would likely move much more quickly. GE appears to be looking to exit the media market, reports indicate, concentrating instead on its corporate strengths. Initial reports say GE will likely sell 51 percent of NBCU to Comcast, and the cable giant would contribute between $4 billion and $6 billion to the joint venture as well as some of its cable networks. Over time Comcast likely would acquire the remainder of NBCU, which counts Hulu as one of its co-owned properties.
- see this Reuters article
- see this Bloomberg article
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