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NBC Takes Stake In ValueVision

ValueVision International said Tuesday that General Electric's NBC unit has agreed to take a 20 percent stake in the company worth about $56 million, and will help the television-based retailer explore "future Internet and electronic commerce opportunities."

NBC and GE Equity will each receive one seat on ValueVision's board, along with an option to boost their interest to 40 percent, subject to ValueVision shareholder approval.

ValueVision (VVTV), the nation's third-largest home shopping network, said NBC will also help ValueVision redesign its current Web shopping site, and the two companies will look for ways "to link their various Internet properties as part of the new alliance."

ValueVision shares jumped 2 1/16, or 20.4 percent, to 12 3/16 in recent trade. GE added 1/8 to 104 15/16.

NBC's current Internet holdings include its NBC.com site, NBC Interactive Neighborhood and VideoSeeker, among others. The company also has an equity stake in Snap, the Internet portal service operated in partnership with CNET (CNET).

ValueVision's programming is seen in almost 22 million homes nationwide.

Written By David B. Wilkerson, CBS MarketWatch