Vivendi: Olympics Gave NBC "A New Pulse," GE Will Not Sell

10/03/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Ben Hall Financial Times

General Electric has no intention of selling its majority stake in NBC Universal, according to Vivendi, the French entertainment group, which is a fellow shareholder in the US broadcaster.

Jean-Bernard Lévy, Vivendi chief executive, said he had been told by GE it had no plans to sell its 80 per cent stake in NBCU.

The US conglomerate had, in effect, put the studio on probation a year ago, signalling that it could review its ownership after last month's Olympic Games.

Mr Lévy said that the ratings and commercial success of the Olympics "could give a new impluse, a new dynamism" to the NBC channel, whose declining audience share has been a drag on the NBCU group. "In private, as in public, I have heard Mr [Jeffrey] Immelt [GE chief executive] say several times that he has no plans to sell NBCU," Mr Lévy said. "I don't think there has been any change there."

He added that Vivendi would review its 20 per cent stake in the US broadcaster later this year.

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