Diller Sells Vivendi Stake to NBC Universal

Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp (IACI), the operator of the Home Shopping Network and Ticketmaster, said Wednesday it has sold its 5.44 percent stake in Vivendi Universal Entertainment (search) to NBC Universal (search) for about $3.4 billion in cash and shares.

IAC and Vivendi Universal also agreed to permanently dismiss litigation between them pending in the Delaware courts, and all parties have released one another from potential claims relating to IAC's investment in VUE.

Vivendi Universal Entertainment — which includes Universal Studios, theme parks and cable TV units — is now wholly owned by NBC Universal, which is itself 80 percent owned by General Electric Co. (GE) and 20 percent owned by Vivendi Universal.

It was created in 2002 by Vivendi Universal and IAC in connection with IAC's disposition of its entertainment assets. Vivendi Universal Entertainment became part of NBC Universal in May 2004.

The deal includes 56.6 million IAC shares, which had a market value of $1.4 billion, the companies said in a joint statement.

IAC shares rose $1.17, or 4.8 percent, to $25.81 on the Nasdaq Stock Market (search), while GE shares rose 12 cents to $36.96 on the New York Stock Exchange. Vivendi Universal's U.S. shares rose 27 cents to $30.64 on the NYSE.