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GE Begins NBCU Stake Buyback From Vivendi

The move is a precursor to GE’s sale of NBCU to Comcast

General Electric has begun its buyback of NBC Universal stock from Vivendi, a precursor to GE's sale of NBCU to Comcast.

Vivendi, which had owned 20 percent of NBCU, sold an initial 7.66 percent on Monday to GE for $2 billion, the French conglomerate said in a statement Monday. Vivendi plans to sell the remaining 12.34 percent to GE for $3.8 billion after GE completes its $30 billion sale of NBCU shares to Comcast.

After TheWrap broke the news of the Comcast-NBCU merger almost one year ago to the day, reports surfaced that Vivendi was holding up terms of the deal in a squabble over valuation of its shares. Monday's sale — and the subsequent 12.34 percent sale — would fully resolve that issue.

Vivendi plans to use proceeds from the sale to buy out the rest of telecom SFR, in which it is currently a 56 percent stakeholder.