NBC U Buying Diller Stake

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Barry Diller’s InterActive Corp. (IAC) settled his fight with Vivendi Universal Entertainment, agreeing to sell his stake in the U.S. cable and movie properties for almost $3.4 billion.

For two years, Diller has wrestled with Vivendi over tax issues related to IAC’s 2001 sale of assets to Universal. NBC became involved when it bought all but Diller’s stake in VUE last year.

In unwinding his holdings, Diller sells NBC Universal his 5.4% stake in Vivendi’s U.S. cable and movie properties for $800 million in cash.

But IAC also holds $2.6 billion worth of VUE preferred stock. In exchange for that, IAC will receive $1.1 billion in cash; 56.6 million IAC shares worth $1.4 billion; and $100 million worth of advertising credits on NBC and its cable networks.

At the end of IAC’s exit, NBC will own 80% of the NBC Universal and Paris-based Vivendi will own 20%.

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