Updated from 8:41 a.m. EST
Lehman Brothers weighed in Monday morning following a report that
is in talks to acquire
DirecTV satellite television unit for more than $10 billion.
The brokerage expressed skepticism that the deal will ever get done and advised clients owning GM class H shares, which represent an interest in the subsidiary that owns DirecTV, to sell them if the story causes them to go up. Lehman said it sees few near-term catalysts for the stock in lieu of an acqusition. GM's H shares were rallying in the premarket session, up about 74 cents, or 7.6%, to $10.49 on Instinet.
Several reports suggested SBC shares could face pressure in the wake of the
New York Times
report, and also noted that this could be another headache for longtime DirecTV suitor
. SBC shares weren't seeing much volume in the premarket session, although the few matches that crossed on Island suggested SBC could be down about 50 cents from its Friday close of $25.18.
GM had agreed in 2001 to sell its Hughes Electronics division, which includes DirecTV, to
, but antitrust authorities in Washington rejected that deal last year, the
For its part, DirecTV made no mention of the new negotiations in a press release announcing a $3 billion bond and bank financing Monday morning.
Spokesmen for SBC and News Corp. declined to comment on Friday's report, the
According to the
, Toni Simonetti, a GM spokeswoman, said, "We have certainly been engaged in evaluating strategic options for Hughes." She added, "We're looking at a number of options, but we are not in a position to comment on anything specific at this time."