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GE reaches agreement with Vivendi on NBC Universal stake

November 30, 2009 |  5:40 pm

General Electric Co. has reached an agreement with French telecommunications firm Vivendi to buy its 20% stake in NBC Universal for $5.8 billion, according to one person familiar with the negotiations.

The news was first reported this evening by the Wall Street Journal.  Representatives of GE and Vivendi declined to comment.  Neither company's officials would confirm the Journal's report. 

Last week, GE Chief Executive Jeffrey Immelt traveled to Vivendi's Paris headquarters to meet with Chief Executive Jean-Bernard Levy in an effort to break the logjam and negotiate an exit for the French firm. GE must buy out Vivendi's interest before it can sell its controlling stake in NBC Universal to cable television giant Comcast Corp. That deal, which is still being finalized, could be announced within a few days.

[Updated at 11:19 p.m.: For more information, see the full article in tomorrow's Times.]

-- Meg James