Comcast Buys 51% Stake in NBC Universal for $6.5 Billion Cash

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The Comcast-NBC Universal joint venture was finalized today, with Comcast agreeing to pay $6.5 billion cash for a 51% stake in NBCU. The New York Times has more:

The agreement will create a joint venture, with Comcast owning 51 percent and G.E. owning 49 percent. Comcast will contribute to the joint venture its stable of cable channels, which includes Versus, the Golf Channel and E Entertainment, worth about $7.25 billion, and will pay G.E. about $6.5 billion in cash, for a total of $13.75 billion. For now, the network will remain NBC Universal, but ultimately Comcast could decide to change the name.

The deal could take up to 18 months to pass regulatory muster. The deal valued NBC Universal at about $30 billion.

Most of NBC’s value is in its lucrative cable channels — USA, Bravo, SyFy, CNBC and MSNBC. The NBC network and Universal Studios will comprise only a small portion of the joint venture’s cash flow.

Prepare to wait a long time before regulators decide what to do with this merger.