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Comcast Will Buy 51% Stake in Universal Studios Japan for $1.5 Billion

Comcast Corp. is creation a biggest abroad investment, as a largest U.S. wire user seeks general expansion after being stymied in a bid to acquire its second-largest aspirant Time Warner Cable Inc.

Comcast’s NBCUniversal section will pay $1.5 billion for a stake in USJ Co., a handling association of a Universal Studios Japan thesis park in Osaka, Comcast pronounced in a statement. Current shareholders Goldman Sachs Group Inc., MBK Partners Ltd. and USJ Chief Executive Officer Glenn Gumpel will keep minority stakes.

“We see Comcast and NBCUniversal apropos some-more of a tellurian company,” Brian Roberts, Comcast arch executive officer, told reporters in Osaka on Monday. “This is a commencement of us creation some-more tellurian investments.” He pronounced a USJ understanding was Comcast’s biggest nonetheless overseas.

Philadelphia-based Comcast, that in April dropped a bid to buy Time Warner Cable Inc. amid antithesis from antitrust regulators, has been seeking expansion in other areas including digital media. Its NBCUniversal unit, that owns Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando Resort, has permit and handling agreements with Universal Studios Japan, according to a website.

Overseas Deals

Comcast’s largest outbound investment before USJ was in 2008, when its NBC Peacock Fund led a consortium to buy German online games-maker Bigpoint GmbH for 70 million euros ($78 million), according to information gathered by Bloomberg. That consortium in 2011 sole a infancy interest in Bigpoint for $350 million.

The transaction reflects an craving value of 750 billion yen ($6.2 billion) for USJ, with 400 billion yen of that being debt, pronounced Ankur Sahu, Goldman Sachs handling director, during a Osaka briefing. USJ listed in 2007, before being taken private by Goldman dual years after as visitors slumped. The association had pronounced it designed to find a re-listing this year.

There are no skeleton for a open inventory for USJ in a “near future”, nonetheless new house members of a association could revisit a plan, Roberts said. The USJ understanding is approaching to tighten in 3 to 4 weeks, and Gumpel will step down as CEO, to be transposed by Jean-Louis Bonnier, according to Comcast.

Harry Potter

Sales and caller numbers during a 14-year-old Japanese thesis park had strike a record high following a revamp, with a $400 million Harry Potter captivate that non-stop Jul final year assisting a series of unfamiliar visitors to double to about a million, according to USJ.

“The new Harry Potter captivate had an impact and brought a lot of customers,” pronounced Katsunori Dobayashi, an researcher during Iwaicosmo Securities Co. In further to visitors from overseas, a thesis park was also means to pull some-more Japanese, including steady internal customers, with concepts singular to a nation such as an “Attack on Titan” ride, Dobayashi said.

USJ had sales of 138.5 billion yen in a mercantile year finished Mar 2015, adult 44 percent from a year earlier, while handling distinction rose 61 percent to 39 billion yen, both all-time highs, orator Johta Takahashi pronounced progressing Monday.

Record Visits

The Universal Studios Japan thesis park, which non-stop in 2001 as a corner try between Osaka city and a organisation of private companies, also perceived a record 12.7 million visitors in a mercantile year by Mar 2015, adult from 10.5 million, according to Takahashi.

Comcast had gained a Universal film and U.S. thesis park businesses after it concluded in 2013 to pay General Electric Co. $16.7 billion for full tenure of NBCUniversal, that also gave Comcast control of a NBC promote network, as good as wire channels MSNBC and Bravo.

NBCUniversal in Aug concluded to make a $200 million investment in a news website BuzzFeed and a identical volume in Vox Media, a online publisher of The Verge, Eater and Re/code, in an bid to constraint a expansion in digital promotion and strech younger consumers.

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Article source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-28/comcast-to-pay-1-5-billion-for-51-of-japanese-theme-park

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