GE’s Immelt: “We’re Not Done Doing Cable Deals”

By Chris Ariens Comment

ImmeltCNBC_8.18.jpgLast week, NBCU CEO Jeff Zucker was on Squawk Box. Today his boss, GE Chairman Jeff Immelt pulled up a yi at CNBC’s Beijing studio. At one point, Carl Quintanilla referenced a Chinese newspaper headline about Immelt’s wisdom for not selling NBCU:

Since I have never considered selling it, right, I never really should take the heat for not having sold it. I shouldn’t get credit for keeping it. It’s just — it’s just — I think this is a really good business. It’s got good global growth. It’s got high margins. We manage it well. I love my team. I think the set of leaders we have at NBC Universal are as good or better than any we’ve ever had.

After the jump, why Immelt says, “We’re not done doing cable deals…”

“I like doing partnerships. I think it does two things in the case of Weather Channel. One is if you are in the cable business or news business, the Weather Channel is one of the premier assets. Our ability to get it in a great deal the way we did I think is great. I think every now and again when an industry goes through transition, I like partnering with a private equity guy because it helps you understand what’s the right price for weather channel?

In other words, Jeff and his team could come and say ‘here’s the right price for weather channel’, but I now have Bain and Blackstone, and so if you like investing in cable the way I do, every now and then I like getting a couple of validation points to say here’s what you ought to be paying, and you get two of the shrewdest guys in the world helping you validate it because we’re not done doing cable deals.”