Vivendi, GE agree to interim payment

Vivendi to be paid one-third of the value of its NBCU stake

NEW YORK -- Vivendi SA and General Electric have agreed that Vivendi will be paid close to one-third of the value of its NBC Universal stake, although a value for the stake itself is still being negotiated, a person familiar with the matter said.

The amount would be paid between the signing of a related deal between GE and Comcast, and that deal's closing.

Vivendi is seeking about $6.1 billion for the 20% of NBC Universal it has owned since 2004, the source and another person familiar with the matter said.

GE, which owns the remainder of the broadcast and cable unit, has sought to buy Vivendi's stake as part of a proposed deal with U.S. cable company Comcast Corp. to create a new NBC Universal joint venture.

GE wants to pay less, and the two sides are currently about $500 million apart in terms of how to value Vivendi's stake, the source said.

Vivendi is keen to sell its stake to GE so that the U.S. conglomerate can proceed with its Comcast deal, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the negotiations have not been made public.