Comcast to buy stake in NBCUniversal

Kasmira Jefford
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US CABLE provider Comcast is to buy out General Electric’s (GE) entire 49 per cent stake in NBCUniversal for $16.7bn (£10.7bn), taking full control of the company behind CNBC and Universal Studios.

The deal, which was announced late last night, comes more than a year ahead of the original date that was agreed when GE and Vivendi sold their majority stake to Comcast in 2009.

The initial sale contract gave GE the option to sell back as much as all its remaining stake in NBCUniversal by mid-2014.

Comcast said in a statement yesterday that NBCUniversal will also buy the buildings it occupies at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York and CNBC’s headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, for about $1.4bn.

The TV and film company owns almost 100 US and international cable channels including news network MSNBC, as well as entertainment channels E! and Bravo.

It also owns the Universal Studios theme parks and film studios like Universal Pictures, which made movies including Jaws, ET and Jurassic Park.

Comcast said the deal will be funded by $11.4bn of cash in hand, $4bn of subsidiary senior unsecured notes to be issued to GE, $2bn of borrowings under bank credit facilities and $725m of subsidiary preferred stock issued to GE.

The takeover must still be approved by regulators and is expected to be finalised by the end of the first quarter.