Communacopia: Vivendi Chief Says IPO A Possibility For NBCU Stake

Levy says decision has not been made, but outlines likely scenarios

Vivendi CEO Jean-Bernard Levy declined to comment on what the company will do with its 20% stake in NBC Universal but outlined the likely scenarios if this is the year for an exit.

"Last year there was turmoil and we didn't know where the market was going and the advertising market was not in our favor. The next window is in a little more than two months, you will know more at that time."

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia media conference, he added: "An IPO is possible, if we do exercise the put option we go and prepare for an IPO. Unless GE uses a pre-emption right and buys us out at a price.

"It can go that GE buys us out or at the end of several months the company goes public, assuming we do exercise. But you understand a decision has not been made."

One senior level executive at the Goldman conference said the wide expectation is that Vivendi wants to "turn the paper into cash."

Vivendi has been expanding its asset line-up in emerging territories. Levy said the company would not make any acquisitions that would endanger its triple B credit rating or prevent it from paying its shareholders a dividend.