Funds News

Fund invests $100 mln in NBC, News Corp site: source

NEW YORK (Reuters) - NBC Universal and News Corp have reached a preliminary deal with a private-equity firm to sell a stake in their online joint venture for $100 million, a source close to the deal said on Friday.

The online venture is scheduled to launch this fall and will feature content from TV shows such as “Saturday Night Live” and “The Simpsons” to hit films such as “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Borat.”

NBC Universal and News Corp have yet to name the joint- venture and for the moment it is being called New Site.

The source said the private equity fund, Providence Equity and NBC Universal and News Corp had reached a deal on preliminary terms, but cautioned some details could still shift. The source added it was unclear whether other partners would be brought on in the future and could not confirm a report in the New York Times over the size of Providence’s stake.

The Times reported this week Providence had taken a 10 percent stake, establishing a $1 billion valuation on the new business.

For the moment, bringing aboard Providence will spread out the risk of the venture, which is advertising supported and seen by some as a way to take on Google Inc’s YouTube video site.

The joint-venture site was first announced in March. Jason Kilar, a one-time Inc executive, was recently hired as the venture’s chief executive.

NBC Universal is controlled by General Electric Co.

Reporting by Paul Thomasch