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Having first agreed to agree, Vivendi Universal S.A. and National Broadcasting Company, Inc., proved as good as their word a month later. Vivendi, which has been trying to shed its entertainment assets all year, entered into exclusive negotiations with NBC on September 2 about a combination of the two companies’ assets. Those talks bore fruit on October 8 with the creation of NBC Universal, which is 80 percent owned by NBC, a subsidiary of General Electric Company, and 20 percent owned by Vivendi. GE issued 125 million shares to Vivendi, which plans to sell them for about $3.8 billion. GE also allowed Vivendi to move $1.7 billion in debt into the new enterprise, whose estimated value is about $14 billion. The new entity will combine the venerable NBC television network with much of Universal City, California-based Vivendi Universal Entertainment, including its studio, television production, cable, and theme park assets. (Vivendi hasn’t decided yet what to do with its music division.) For acquiror National Broadcasting Company, Inc. (New York) In-house: At NBC: General counsel Lawrence Tu, senior vice president and general counsel�NBC Cable and CNBC Lauren Donovan, associate general counsel�NBC Cable Networks Jodi Brenner, senior vice president and deputy general counsel Andrea Hartman, vice president�employment law Charles Fournier, vice presidents�corporate and transactions law Sari Greenberg and Elizabeth Newell, vice president�intellectual property and counsel Gillian Lusins, vice president�litigation and deputy general counsel Susan Weiner, corporate and transactions counsel Patricia Suh, real estate and environmental counsel Andrew Fossett, senior regulatory counsel F. William LeBeau, intellectual property counsel Marni Beck Pedorella, transactions counsel�NBC Cable Andrew Yonteff, and staff attorney�NBC Cable Networks Sandy Galman. At General Electric Company: Vice president and senior counsel�transactions Pamela Daley, transactions and finance counsel Dyan Gershman and Cynthia Shereda, chief corporate and securities counsel Michael McAlevey, and corporate and securities counsel Anita Kagna. Debevoise & Plimpton (New York): Corporate/M&A: Paul Bird, Jeffrey Rosen, Kevin Schmidt, and associates Dorian Fogel, James Franklin, John Rather, Kevin Rinker, Molly Stockley, Katrina Szakal, Freddy Taveras, and Ayse Yuksel. Tax: Gary Friedman, David Schnabel, and associate Rafael Kariyev. Employee benefits: David Mason and associate Alan Levine. Telecommunications: Jeffrey Cunard. Real estate: associates Daniel Katz and Seth Saideman. Corporate/ Intellectual property: associate Sheri Rabiner-Gordon. (Cunard is in Washington, D.C.) According to Rosen, Debevoise has represented GE and NBC on various matters, mostly litigation and intellectual property, for several years. When Rosen arrived at the firm in 2001 from O’Melveny & Myers, he had his own personal relationships with a number of lawyers at NBC, including general counsel Lawrence Tu, another O’Melveny alumnus. Arnold & Porter (Washington, D.C.): Antitrust: Donna Patterson, Michael Sohn, and Marleen van Kerckhove. (Van Kerckhove is in Brussels.) The firm has represented NBC and GE on antitrust matters for more than ten years. Katten Muchin Zavis Rosenman (Chicago): Entertainment: John “Jack” McBride, Jr., Rik Toulon, and associate Kelly Costello. (All are in Los Angeles.) For seller Vivendi Universal S.A. (Paris) In-house: General counsel�Vivendi Universal Jean-Francois Dubos, vice president�law Frederic Crepin, U.S. general counsel George Bushnell, senior vice president�tax Kevin Conway, director�international tax Stuart Chessman, director�U.S. tax Joseph Carney, and general counsel�Vivendi Universal Entertainment Karen Randall. Weil, Gotshal & Manges (New York): Akiko Mikumo, Jeffrey Nadler, counsel Donald Whittaker, and associates Daniel Bae, Kwesi Baiden, Jason Berger, Peter Bove, Alex Cohen, Ryan Gallagher, Richard McCarthy, Aaron Melville, Judah Schiller, and David Thomas. Tax: Kimberly Blanchard, Kenneth Heitner, and associate Christine Agnew. Benefits: Mary Jean Potenzone, counsel Steven Margolis, and associate Anna Grant. Intellectual property: Jeffrey Osterman. Environmental: Annemargaret Connolly. (Gallagher, McCarthy, Melville, and Schiller are in Redwood Shores, California; Connolly is in Washington, D.C.) Last year Claude Serra, who heads Weil’s Paris office, introduced Mikumo to Agnes Touraine, the then CEO of Vivendi Universal Publishing. Vivendi went on to retain Mikumo and Weil on the 2002 sale of Houghton Mifflin Company, the Boston-based textbook publisher that Vivendi owned for only a year. Clifford Chance (London): Antitrust: Simon Baxter, Claude Lazarus, Steven Newborn, Laura Wilkinson, counsel John Sipple, Jr., and associates Carrie Anderson and Morgan Fargarson. (Baxter is in Brussels; Lazarus is in Paris; and all other attorneys are in Washington, D.C.) Lazarus has long worked for Vivendi, first as a partner with Paris-based JeantetAssoci�s, then with London-based Herbert Smith, and now with Clifford Chance, which he joined last year. Newborn and Wilkinson moved to Weil, Gotshal & Manges in late October. Covington & Burling (Washington, D.C.): Corporate: Stephen Infante. Communications: Stephen Weiswasser. (Infante is in New York.) Covington has represented Vivendi on various matters for several years. Wiley Rein & Fielding (Washington, D.C.): Federal Communications Commission issues: James Bayes, John Fiorini III, Wayne Johnsen, and Richard Wiley.

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