Comcast Corp to buy rest of NBC Universal from General Electronics in $16.7 bn deal
The nation's largest cable operator unveiled plans on Tuesday to buy out General Electric Co's remaining 49 percent stake in the NBC Universal joint venture. That gives it full control of one of the industry's largest and most profitable stable of cable networks, as well as the NBC broadcast network with its recognizable peacock logo.
Combining properties such as USA Network, Universal Studios and more than 22 million cable subscribers, the deal completes a 50-year transformation for Comcast, which was founded by Chief Executive Officer Brian Roberts' father, Ralph, in 1963.
Comcast bought 51 percent of NBC Universal in 2011 after winning antitrust approval from the Justice Department. Tuesday's deal comes at least two years sooner than planned and creates a $39 billion business owed primarily to the success of marrying cable distribution with cable programming. The rational behind the deal differentiates Comcast from rivals such as Time Warner Cable Inc, which separated content from distribution.
"The reality is content has gotten stronger and stronger and safer and safer, so Comcast should be trading at a premium to the cable operators. They are an integrated media and entertainment company. They are not just a cable operator," said John Tinker, an analyst at Maxim Group.
In addition to the main deal, which pushed up Comcast shares about 7 percent
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