PE Investment En Route For NBCU-NWS NewCo?

We’ve been told that the NBCU-News Corp. JV variously known as NewCo and NewSite is in discussions with private equity firms about selling as much as a 10 percent stake in the video distribution enterprise slated to launch this summer. The goal would be $100 million for a valuation of $1 billion. I’m getting a “no comment” from NBCU on this, which could be interpreted any number of ways.

Keep in mind that Joost’s funding for $45 million is for a distribution service with a number of content deals but relying on a viral audience. NewCo says its distribution deals lock in access to 96-98 percent of U.S. internet users; it has its own content and non-equity, non-exclusive content deals so far with Comcast and CNET Networks. Selling a stake to investors is the only obvious way for the companies, currently splitting the launch costs, to raise funds other than adding another major media company as an equity partner — unlikely at this point.