Wright fires torpedo at Vivendi IPO floater


Former NBC Universal Chairman and CEO Bob Wright said that the prospects for putting Vivendi’s 20% stake in the company on the stock market in the form of an IPO were slim, in his estimation. He suspects they’ll negotiate a settlement and steer clear of Wall Street.

Wright spoke with FOX Business Network’s Liz Claman.

He said that in a deal with Comcast, GE would need a minimum of $20B and suggested that Vivendi needs to get at least $5B and will probably want more.

Asked if he thought Vivendi would hold up a possible deal to run an IPO, Wright said, “I personally think Vivendi will negotiate an acceptable settlement for them, one that Concast and GE will settle on. And I think it will take just a little bit more time.”

Wright continued, “I don’t think an IPO is such an attractive proposition right in this market either. And I’m sure the French are very sophisticated so they’re not going to miss that.”

RBR-TVBR observation: We certainly don’t believe this is the ideal time to be trotting a new media offering around the NYSE. So do you talk your way to a sure thing or go to Wall Street and roll the dice? But only Vivendi knows if it’s serious or just planting some seeds of anxiety. But we’ll all know by 12/10/09, when the IPO option window closes.