The chief executive of overseas corporation Vivendi said that if it decides to part with its 20% stake in NBC Universal, it could lead to an IPO, most likely offered in New York, and that such a plan has been in the back of the corporate mind since Vivendi bought in back in 2003.
Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy was quoted as saying, “”It was part of the thinking we had back in 2003 when we created NBC Universal that maybe when Vivendi would exit, one way … would be through a flotation on the stock market and maybe that is what will happen.”
Vivendi isn’t the only company that considers the unit to be a noncore asset – that also applies to majority owner General Electric, which is said to be talking about selling a majority stake in the unit to Comcast.
Another way Vivendi could bow out is to sell its shares to GE. However, it has a window, from 11/15/09 through 12/10/09, in which to notify GE that it will put them on the open market, according to Bloomberg.
One analyst told Bloomberg that floating such a remark makes sense for Vivendi as a not-so-subtle reminder to all interested parties that it has options other than simply selling the shares to either GE or Comcast.