money digest


VNU unit sale

VNU, parent company of The Hollywood Reporter, said Monday that it will sell its European business magazines, collectively know as Business Media Europe, to private-equity and venture capital firm 3i for an undisclosed price, though published sources put the figure at about €320 million ($419 million). Among the titles in the portfolio are Britain's IT Week and Accountancy Age and the Dutch Intermediair job listings guide. The sale includes BME's operations in Britain, the Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany and Belgium. The proposed sale of the unit's French operations is still under discussion.

Air America sale

Air America Radio, the liberal talk-radio network headlined by comedian-author Al Franken, is close to sealing a deal with a buyer, a network spokeswoman said Monday. The network, launched two years ago, declared bankruptcy protection in October after reaching an impasse with one of its creditors. A spokeswoman said the company had reached a tentative agreement with a buyer — signing a letter of intent — but a final deal was not in place. She declined to identify the buyer. RealNetworks Inc. CEO Rob Glaser owns 36.7% of Air America.

GE election

General Electric Co. said Monday that it elected to its board of directors Susan Hockfield, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hockfield's appointment brings GE's board to 16 members. Before assuming the presidency of MIT in 2004, Hockfield was the William Edward Gilbert professor of neurobiology and provost at Yale University. Shares of GE, parent company of NBC Universal, rose 1.7% on Monday to $38.