Comcast to buy out GE’s stake in NBCU for $16.7 billion
Comcast announced 2/12 it will buy General Electric’s entire 49% common equity stake in NBCUniversal for approximately $16.7 billion. Also, NBCUniversal will purchase the properties it uses at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York and CNBC’s HQ in Englewood Cliffs, NJ for about $1.4 billion.
The deal, which is expected to close at the end of Q1, will be funded with $11.4 billion of cash on hand, $4 billion of subsidiary senior unsecured notes to be issued to GE, $2 billion of borrowings under Comcast and/or bank credit facilities, and $725 million of subsidiary preferred stock to be issued to GE.
“This is an exciting day for Comcast as we have agreed to accelerate the purchase of NBCUniversal. The management team at GE has been a wonderful partner during the past two years and their support has been very valuable. Our decision to acquire GE’s ownership is driven by our sense of optimism for the future prospects of NBCUniversal and our desire to capture future value that we hope to create for our shareholders,” said Brian Roberts, Chairman and CEO, Comcast. “We believe the terms of the transaction are attractive and have planned for this event by taking a number of financial steps to prepare our balance sheet. We believe we are in a strong and unique position to continue to grow and build value in our combined company.”
The transactions will be funded with $11.4 billion of cash on hand, $4.0 billion of subsidiary senior unsecured notes to be issued to GE, $2.0 billion of borrowings under Comcast and/or subsidiary bank credit facilities and $725 million of subsidiary preferred stock to be issued to GE.
Morgan Stanley was financial advisor to Comcast and Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP was the Company’s legal advisor.
Comcast’s earnings were also released a day early. The company posted earnings of 56 cents per share up 19% from a year ago and beating Wall Street estimates by 3 cents.
Revenue climbed 5.9% to $15.9 billion from $15 billion a year ago, while its operating income rose 12.9 percent to $3.3 billion from $2.9 billion.