is planning to sell its 20% stake in
this year, the
Wall Street Journal
reports, but sources close to the matter say a final decision won't be made until mid-November and will depend largely on whether the company can get a good price for the deal.
Vivendi's consideration of a sale comes as
, the owner of NBC Universal, and cable company
are discussing a deal to merge NBC Universal and Comcast's TV networks which would be possible only if Vivendi decides to sell.
Under the terms being discussed, Comcast would contribute cash and cable networks to NBC Universal for a 51% stake in the combined company. NBC would borrow cash and hand it over to GE, who would in turn pay Vivendi for the 20% stake. GE would initially retain the 49% stake of the company, the
A major obstacle remains the valuation of NBC Universal. Exane BNP Paribas valued the company around $24 billion, while J.P. Morgan said it could be valued as high as $35 billion.
This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.