Comcast announced on Tuesday that it's acquiring General Electric's entire remaining stake of 49 percent in NBCUniversal.
The deal amounts to almost $17 billion. Added to Comcast's initial acquisition of 51 percent of NBCU in 2011 for $30, the total cost to Comcast is $47 billion.
Comcast now owns all of Universal Studios and the Universal Studios theme parks around the world. It also owns NBC, CNBC, and a several other media properties, as well as 30 Rockefeller Center in New York.
General Electric had always planned to gradually sell off its NBCU stake, but in a statement, Comcast said:
"This is an exciting day for
Comcastas 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 L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO....
Most of the deal was done with $11.4 billion incash on hand. An additional $6 billion was debt, and the balance - $725 million - was stock issued to GE.
A review of Comcast's balance sheet — the company announced fourth quarter 2012 earnings today — shows that it bulked up its cash position in advance of buying GE's stake.
Cash holdings went from $1.6 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011 to $11 billion in 2012.