You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

NBCU buys Universal Orlando stake

$1 billion-plus deal gives conglom 100% of resort

NBCUniversal has reaffirmed its commitment to the theme park biz, striking a deal with Blackstone Group to purchase the private equity giant’s 50% stake in Universal Orlando.

The company will pay $1.025 billion to Blackstone, The transaction puts the total value of the park at about $3.165 billion and is expected to close by July 1.

Once the deal closes, NBC-Universal and its affiliates will own 100% interest in Universal Orlan-do, which is comprised of UniversalStudios Florida, Universal’s Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk.

Following Comcast Corp.’s takeover of NBCU, there had been speculation that the conglom would seek to exit the theme park business. But NBCU chief exec Steve Burke has deep experience in the arena through his tenure at Disney in the 1980s and 1990s. Burke was dispatched to Paris in 1993 by then Mouse House CEO Michael Eisner to help rescue the fledgling Euro Disney park. When Burke left several years later, the park was profitable.

“The acquisition consolidates our ownership and confirms our long-term commitment to Universal Orlando and the theme park business,” Burke said.

“Universal Orlando is a consistent and significant driver of operating and free cashflow and is performing extremely well. It has a superb management team and exciting growth opportunities. This purchase of the Blackstone interest is attractively valued and represents strong financial returns for NBCUniversal.”

NBCU’s purchase will be financed with cash on hand at NBCUniversal, borrowings under NBCUniversal’s existing revolving credit facility and a one-year $400 million note to NBCUniversal from a Comcast affiliate.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Isabela Moner Dora the Explorer

    Film News Roundup: Isabela Merced Boards Jason Momoa's 'Sweet Girl' for Netflix

    In today’s film news roundup, Isabela Merced get cast opposite Jason Momoa, “Starbright” gets financing and AFM announces its speakers. CASTING Isabela Merced, formerly Isabela Moner, has come on board to portray the daughter of Jason Momoa in his upcoming revenge thriller “Sweet Girl” for Netflix. Momoa will play a devastated man who vows to [...]

  • Walt Disney HQ LA

    Disney Seeks to Throw Out Gender Pay Gap Lawsuit

    The Walt Disney Co. is seeking to throw out a lawsuit alleging that women employees are paid less than men, arguing that the suit is too sprawling and unwieldy to handle as a class action. Andrus Anderson LLP filed the suit in April, alleging that Disney’s hiring and pay practices have a discriminatory effect on [...]

  • Ford v Ferrari

    Christian Bale, Matt Damon to Campaign in Lead Actor Category for 'Ford v Ferrari'

    Christian Bale and Matt Damon will both campaign in the lead actor category for awards for their work in Fox’s upcoming “Ford v Ferrari,” Variety has learned. “Ford v Ferrari” follows an eccentric, determined team of American engineers and designers, led by automotive visionary Carroll Shelby (Damon) and his British driver, Ken Miles (Bale), who [...]

  • Tezuka's Barbara film

    Tokyo Film Festival: Makoto Tezuka Probes Past and Present in 'Barbara'

    The son of the late Osamu Tezuka, who is known as the “the god of manga” in Japan for his innovative and enduringly popular comics, Makoto Tezuka (also known as Macoto Tezka) long ago escaped his father’s looming shadow, carving out a career as a film and animation director. At the same time, he has [...]

  • Cuba Gooding Jr

    Cuba Gooding Jr. Sued for Allegedly Pinching Nightclub Server

    A Tao nightclub server who alleges that Cuba Gooding Jr., pinched her rear-end last year has sued the Oscar-winning actor for sexual battery. Natasha Ashworth had previously come forward to New York law enforcement, though her name had not been released publicly. Gooding was indicted last week on four misdemeanor counts, including two counts stemming [...]

  • Taika Waititi Natalie Portman SDCC 2019

    Natalie Portman Weighs in on 'Thor: Love and Thunder's' Possible Breast Cancer Storyline

    Natalie Portman doesn’t know if “Thor: Love and Thunder” will include a breast cancer storyline for her character Jane Foster, but she’s definitely intrigued by the possibility. “It’s just very rare that these kinds of big entertainment films look at more serious, real-life issues,” she told Variety at L.A. Dance Project’s 8th annual fundraising gala [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content