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GE DETAILS VIVENDI UNIVERSAL BID
VU Board Meeting to Discuss Options, Lunch Plans
Better late than never, if you’re Vivendi Universal’s board. Five days after the VU-set deadline for offers, General Electric submitted a letter laying out its plans for merging GE’s NBC and Vivendi’s film and TV businesses. The letter followed days of intense discussions between the two regarding how Vivendi could eventually sell its stake in the new company. The Vivendi board meets Tuesday to discuss offers.

Under the GE proposal, the companies’ assets would be merged and GE would control the company, but Vivendi would own a minority stake of 20-25%. Vivendi could also raise cash right away, against a future commitment by GE to purchase Vivendi’s minority interest.

The Wall Street Journal, which understands these things, says that the valuation of the combined company is difficult to pinpoint, because there’s no cash or stock transaction, and it’s a large merger of media assets, including Telemundo, NBC, CNBC, MSNBC, and Bravo, Universal Studios, and the USA and Sci-Fi cable channels.

If the deal meets Vivendi’s requirements, management is expected to recommend that Vivendi enter exclusive negotiations with GE. That doesn’t mean a pact is guaranteed, but it means they have a better chance than you do.

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