Comcast is now in the driver’s seat of a joint venture that combines its assets with those of NBC Universal, but NBCU’s parent General Electric has carved out a hefty portion of the backseat, retaining 49% of the combined entity. Comcast will have the opportunity to acquire GE’s stake down the road.
Comcast Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Brian L. Roberts said, “This transaction brings together the rich traditions of some of the world’s most well known and respected entertainment, news and sports brands at NBCUniversal with the technology and consumer reach of Comcast, creating the ideal entertainment and distribution company. We are very appreciative of all of the hard work that Jeff Immelt and his team at GE put into this transaction over the past year and are thrilled to have the highly talented team at NBCUniversal be a part of the Comcast family.”
GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said, “NBCU has been a great business for GE over the past 20 years, generating an average annual return of 11 percent. Reducing our ownership stake to 49 percent allows GE to continue sharing in NBCU’s growth while also providing significant cash to invest in our high-technology infrastructure businesses. I want to express GE’s and my special thanks to the talented and dedicated employees of NBCU who have built a world-renowned business and are its heart and soul. We are excited by the growth opportunities ahead for NBCUniversal under Brian Roberts, Steve Burke and the Comcast team’s leadership.”