Vivendi Chairman and Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy was conspicuously silent on Wednesday at the Goldman Sachs Communicopia Conference in New York when it came to the topic of the company’s plans for its 20% stake in NBC Universal.
But one growing possibility seems to be an IPO, said one executive knowledgeable about the situation.
GE’s option to keep its stake in NBC Universal — or exit — opens in two months. Until then, he said, the company will say nothing.
GE has a deal in place that enables it to buy Vivendi’s stake. If it declines, then Vivendi could spin it off to the public.
It does not appear that there is a likely single buyer for Vivendi’s 20% stake in NBC Universal. Financial experts have speculated that Time Warner and Comcast have been contenders for the entertainment company as a whole, but GE has stated that it has no interest in selling the entire company.
NBC Universal has recently been valued at $30 billion-$35 billion, off almost $10 billion from one year ago.