According to a report from investors.com, Comcast had planned to gradually take a bigger stake in NBCU from GE, upping its stake in 2014 and aiming to take it over entirely in 2018.
However, GE’s interest in focusing on its industrial business, and an improving business climate for media companies are seen as compelling reasons for the two companies to agree to get the takeover done with earlier rather than later.
A recent bond offering from Comcast reported by RBR-TVBR lends support to such speculation. It will augment some $4.7B in cash on hand while keeping leverage at 2X. Moody’s noted that Comcast would likely be able to act on its NBCU plans, saying the company“…will have significant financial flexibility to both return capital to shareholders as well as accrue capacity (in addition to cash built up at NBCU) to finance an acquisition of the remaining stake in NBCU held by GE.”