Brian Roberts, the second-generation head of the family-controlled media company Comcast, has overseen a deal that sees Comcast take control of NBC Universal from General Electric, the company announced today.
Comcast will acquire a 51% stake in a joint venture with General Electric, NBC Universal's current owners, that combines NBC Universal's assets with Comcasts's cable networks, regional sports networks and certain other businesses. Comcast will manage the new business, which will create one of America's largest media companies.
Comcast will pay around $6.5 billion in cash along with contributing its cable networks to the joint venture.
In today's statement chairman and chief executive Roberts said: "For Comcast, this transaction is strategically compelling and will generate attractive financial returns and build shareholder value.
"It is also expected to be immediately accretive and will also allow us to maintain our strong commitment to returning capital to shareholders—all while increasing the scale, capabilities and value of our cable distribution, content and digital assets. Significantly, it is entirely consistent with our intense focus on value creation and our disciplined strategy of pursuing profitable growth in areas complementary to our distribution business," he continued.
Comcast was founded in 1963 by Brian's father Ralph Roberts along with Daniel Aaron and Julian Brodsky. The company began as a single-system cable operation and has grown into the largest provider of cable services in the US, with 2008 revenues of $34 billion. Both Ralph and Brian sit on the board of directors.
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