Comcast denies in Talks to Buy NBC-Universal from General Electric
Comcast (CMCSA), the largest U.S. cable company, failed in an unsolicited bid to buy Walt Disney Co (DIS). for $54 billion in 2004.
Comcast refuted the reports. “While we do not normally comment on [mergers and acquisitions] rumors, the report that Comcast has a deal to purchase NBC Universal is inaccurate,” Comcast spokeswoman Jennifer Khoury .
A GE spokesman declined to comment.
The fate of NBC Universal — which includes the NBC television network, Universal Pictures and the Universal theme parks — has been the target of intensifyng speculation recently. French telecom giant Vivendi, which bought a 20% stake in NBC Universal in 2004, has reportedly mulled its option to sell.
Under the deal’s original terms, Vivendi has the annual right to divest its stake during a three-week window starting Nov. 15 each year.
Vivendi Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Lévy has publicly described the stake in NBC Universal as a “non-core asset.”
GE (GE) owns the remaining 80%, CNN’s Cheryl Robinson reported.
The rumored acquisition was reported on the media news Web site TheWrap, which placed the value of the deal at $35 billion. But a subsequent report by The Wall Street Journal quoted the cable and telecom company as denying any such plans. “While we do not normally comment on [merger and acquisition] rumors, the report that Comcast has a deal to purchase NBC Universal is inaccurate,” the Journal report quoted a Comcast statement as saying.