General Electric (GE) has agreed to pay US $5.8 billion for French media conglomerate Vivendi’s 20 percent stake in NBC Universal, according to Reuters.
Negotiations have been under way for several weeks over the value of Vivendi’s stock with the French company rumoured to have been holding out for closer to $6.1 billion.
GE currently owns the remaining 80 percent of NBC U. Its purchase of the final 20 percent is a requirement of its proposed joint venture with cable TV and internet provider, Comcast.
Reports suggest that in return for a 51 percent stake in NBC U, Comcast would pay GE $4-6 billion in cash and plus its array of cable networks.
Reuters sources state that the deal will also include further options for Comcast to purchase GE’s remaining stake in NBC U.
Comcast has long been looking for an entry into the content business. In 2004 it launched an unsolicited and ultimately unsuccessful, $54 billion bid for Disney.