Claire Atkinson breaks it down in Broadcasting & Cable:
Several financial industry sources said Tuesday that General Electric is paving the way for a possible change of the ownership structure at media company NBC Universal. The media industry’s favorite fall parlor game is guessing what Vivendi will do with its 20% holding and how that will affect NBC Universal’s future within GE. That decision isn’t due until November, though sources suggest GE is already sounding out the market.
One highly placed Wall Street executive said the Vivendi situation was forcing GE’s hand somewhat: “It may not be a strategic sale, it may be a public offering, but no decision has been made.” One analyst, who did not wish to be named, said GE has already begun circulating proposal documents: “Talk to people in the media banking community; there is a book out on NBCU,” said this analyst adding, “The crux of the matter is that right now, there is little or no value in the GE stock price from owning NBCU…The Vivendi thing pushes it from a timing perspective and adds a little more urgency to the situation.”
The article covers a variety of scenarios that also include an outright sale of NBCU as well as Vivendi making a play for the whole company. If you have an inner fantasy league media mogul within you, you’ll want to click on over…