Comcast Buys Remaining NBC Stake From GE

Over two years since taking a 51% majority ownership in NBCUniversal, Comcast has decided to buy the remaining 49% of NBC from General Electric for $16.7 billion.

This comes about 18 months early than General Electric said it would begin divesting its stake in NBC. The latest deal will be mostly in cash -- $11.4 billion -- with the rest coming in $4 billion in bonds.

Comcast is also buying NBCUniversal-owned real estate -- its headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York and the CNBC headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, N.J., for another $1.4 billion.

After-hours trading had Comcast stock sharply higher, up nearly 8% to $42 a share. Tuesday trading closed up nearly 1% to $38.97.

Comcast closed its initial majority stake deal with GE for $6.2 billion in cash for NBCUniversal in January 2011, as well as contributing Comcast's cable TV networks -- such as E!, The Golf Channel and Versus -- worth $7.25 billion, to the deal. This gave Comcast operating control over the NBC TV network, Universal Studios, NBC stations, and all of NBC's cable networks such as USA Network, Bravo, MSNBC, and its digital assets.

Also on Tuesday, Comcast reported that its fourth-quarter profit rose 18% to $1.5 billion, with revenue up 5.9% to $16 billion. Growth came from its cable operations and NBCUniversal.

NBCUniversal revenues were 4.8% higher to $6 billion. The cable system business was up 7% to $10.1 billion -- with 19% improvement in local advertising sales due to higher political advertising.

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