Universal theme parks could go to NBC

LOS ANGELES -- Vivendi Universal, the parent of Universal theme parks, and General Electric agreed to begin exclusive negotiations over a pact to merge Vivendi Universal Entertainment -- including the theme parks, movie, TV and other U.S.-based entertainment holdings -- with GE's NBC.

GE would own 80% of the new company, with Paris-based Vivendi holding a 20% stake.

Although the theme parks are not a driving force in the proposed sale, the companies said that NBC would be able to use the theme parks for cross-promotions, including "the broadcasting of NBC events at theme parks around the world."

A spokeswoman for Universal Parks & Resorts said it was "too soon" to assess the impact of the proposed transaction.

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