After months of denying it’s for sale, General Electric seems to be entertaining offers for its NBC Universal unit. According to multiple sources, cable giant Comcast is among those who are kicking the tires for NBCU, whose properties include the NBC broadcast network, the Universal film studio and a brace of cable TV channels that include USA, Bravo and the SyFy network. A Comcast spokeswoman denied a report in the The Wrap, a media blog started by former New York Times reporter Sharon Waxman, that Comcast has a deal in place to buy the NBC Universal unit for $35 billion.
Nevertheless, a source close to Comcast acknowledged to BusinessWeek that the cable giant, which in 2004 made an ill-fated $54 billion bid for the Walt Disney Company, had indeed begun to assess the NBC unit and might have an announcement in the next few days. Other sources have said that at least one other bidder may have emerged since Comcast stepped up the talks on Tuesday. That’s thought to be Time Warner, although a Time Warner spokesman said it “was absolutely untrue” that the company was angling to buy the GE unit. An NBC spokesperson could not be reached for comment.
The flurry of deal making rumors were no doubt stoked by a recent decision by French telecommunications and media giant Vivendi to explore selling off its 20% stake in NBC Universal.
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Read More: By Dan Beucke, Business Week