NBC Universal chairman Jeff Zucker wouldn't talk about the possibility of restructuring the NBCU partnership with Vivendi, but added that the broadcast and cable giant would re-enter the M&A fray if the opportunity arises.
Zucker, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference here Tuesday, would not comment on speculation that Vivendi would either sell or otherwise try to restructure its 20% interest in NBCU. As part of the five-year-old deal that brought NBC into the cable business, Vivendi has the right to sell its stake in the venture each November, giving NBC the option of buying the stake itself, taking on a new partner, or proceeding with an initial public offering of the Vivendi share. In a conference call with analysts last month, Vivendi chairman Jean-Bernard Levy had said he considers the NBCU stake to be a non-core asset.
"Obviously Vivendi has been a fantastic partner," Zucker said. "They've been clear that at some point they will do something. That is up to Vivendi on their timeline, on their time table. I can't speak for them."