News briefs, Aug. 13, 2007

Home Depot considers lower priceThe Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD), the home improvement chain, said that it may change the terms and financing of its agreement for the sale of its HD Supply unit, which could result in a drop in the $10.33 billion sale price.

The company is in talks with Bain Capital, The Carlyle Group and Clayton Dubilier & Rice about the possible changes, which are being prompted by the changed economic environment.

Providence invests in NBC, Fox project
Providence Equity Partners has invested $100 million in a joint venture between NBC Universal and News Corp., which would bring both companies’ television shows and movies onto the Internet. The deal, which gives Providence a 10% stake in the joint venture, was first reported by The New York Times, and values the total project at $1 billion.

NBC and News Corp., which owns the Fox TV network, announced their joint venture earlier this year, but still has no name or working website.

Todd Dagres, general partner at Spark Capital, a media and entertainment focused investor, told The Times that it was a startlingly rich valuation for a company that could most likely not be sold or go public, considering NBC and the News Corp. hold large stakes. “It’s a sign of the times when a company that didn’t exist a couple months ago can raise this kind of money,” he said.

Viagogo says $30M just the ticket
Viagogo, a U.K.-based online ticket reseller formed by StubHub co-founder Eric Baker, has raised $30 million in third-round funding. Backers include Index Ventures, LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault, German media mogul Herbert Kloiber and financier Jacob Rothschild. Viagogo, which was launched in late 2006, has now raised $50 million in total VC funding, and plans to use the latest investment to enter the U.S. market. In the United States, Viagogo will resell tickets for sporting events, concerts and other shows, and the company will serve as the exclusive secondary ticketing provider for the Cleveland Browns.

U.S. rival StubHub was acquired in March 2007 by eBay for $307 million.

Bush enters carried interest fray
President Bush last week made his first public comments on the carried interest tax debate, during a morning press conference. White House officials, such as Tony Snow and Hank Paulsen, had previously indicated that the president is opposed to changing carried interest tax treatment from capital gains to ordinary income, but had not spoken publicly.

“We’re very very hesitant about trying to target one aspect of limited partnerships for fear of the spillover it will have in affecting small business growth,” Bush said. “And so we don’t support that.”