February 13, 2013

Comcast to pay GE $18B for NBCUniversal stake

Fairfield conglomerate General Electric Co. is selling ts remaining joint-venture stake in multimedia giant NBCUniversal, plus several floors of GE's "30 Rock'' Manhattan office tower and other real estate, to partner Comcast for $18 billon.

GE holds a 49 percent equity stake in NBCUniversal (NBCU), which owns WNBC Channel 30 in West Hartford, along with the NBC on-air and cable networks, and Universal Studios.

Comcast, based in Philadelphia, is one of the biggest cable-TV, voice and online communications providers in Connecticut.

Under the deal, GE will collect $12 billion in cash, $4 billion in Comcast guaranteed debt, and $700 million of Comcast preferred stock.

Additionally, GE will sell loors NBCU occupies in 30 Rockefeller Center, and property in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., to NBCU affiliates for $1.4 billion in cash.

The has been approved by boards of both companies, but awaits final closing conditions to be completed in the first quarter.

Meantime, GE's board raised its share repurchase authority to $35 billion, with approximately $23 billion of authorization remaining as of Wednesday. With this authorization, GE plans to accelerate its share repurchase program to approximately $10 billion in 2013.

J.P. Morgan was GE's financial adviser in the deal, with Weil, Gotshal & Manges as legal advisor

In addition, Goldman Sachs, Centerview Partners, and CBRE provided strategic advice to the deal.

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