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.