Comcast Corp struck a deal to buy a majority stake in NBC Universal from General Electric Co, creating a media superpower that would control not just how TV shows and movies are made, but how they are delivered to the home.
The deal has been discussed for months and brought to light deep divisions within the media business over its future, with some lauding Comcast Chief Executive Officer Brian Roberts as a visionary and others calling it the most foolhardy acquisition since AOL bought Time Warner Inc in 2001.
Under the terms of the deal, Comcast, the largest U.S. cable service provider, will contribute $6.5 billion in cash and its own cable TV networks to take a 51 percent stake in NBC Universal, which owns TV networks, a movie studio, theme parks and local TV stations. GE will keep a 49 percent stake.
The two sides said in a release on Thursday that the deal valued NBC Universal businesses at $30 billion. They valued the Comcast businesses that will be part of the deal at $7.25 billion.
GE cleared the way for the deal by getting Vivendi SA's agreement to sell its 20 percent stake in NBC Universal for $5.8 billion.
(Reporting by Paul Thomasch; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)