×

Comcast Takes Full Ownership of Universal Studios Japan

Comcast has set a $2.3 billion buyout deal to take full ownership of Universal Studios Japan.

The pact marks another sign of Comcast’s commitment to the theme park business that has generated solid growth in the five-plus years since the cable giant bought up NBCUniversal. Comcast is buying out partners in the Osaka-based theme park that include Goldman Sachs, former Universal Studios Japan CEO Glenn Gumpel and private equity firms Owl Creek Asset Management and MBK Partners. The deal is expected to close by the end of April.

The Universal Studios parks in Hollywood and Orlando, Fla., have been consistent contributors to Comcast’s bottom line, and the company has invested big in infrastructure improvements and new attractions such as the Harry Potter-themed installations. Universal Studios Japan opened its “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” attraction in 2014 and will unveil “Minion Park,” tied to the “Despicable Me” franchise, later this year.

“Universal Studios Japan is an amazing and incredibly successful theme park,” said Tom Williams, chairman-CEO of Universal Parks & Resorts. “This acquisition will bring an even stronger future for the theme park, its guests and its team members. We are thrilled USJ will fully be part of the Universal family and look forward to continuing to create a remarkable experience for our guests.”

Early on after its NBCU acquisition, Comcast expected to sell the Universal theme parks but execs changed their tune after becoming more familiar with the businesses. Comcast’s acquisition last year of DreamWorks Animation was driven in part by the ability to use its characters and properties as fodder for the parks.

Universal Studios Japan opened in 2001. Comcast is in the midst of building a theme park in Beijing, and it has a licensed Universal Studios venture in Singapore.

More Biz

  • Hong Kong skyline

    Hong Kong Declares Emergency in Coronavirus Response

    Hong Kong’s government has put the territory on the highest state of emergency in response to the outbreak of coronavirus in mainland China. Schools will remain closed until Feb. 17, long after the Chinese New Year holidays, which begin today, should have finished. Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Area of China and some 600 [...]

  • Harvey Mason Jr.., Chair of the

    Grammy Board Chief Calls Allegations of Nomination-Rigging ‘Just Not Right’

    Among the many allegations in ousted Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan’s blockbuster legal complaint, the one that possibly cuts most to the heart of the institution — and is of most concern to artists and the public — is the allegation that the nominating process is “rigged.” The example in the complaint points to the [...]

  • Annabella Sciorra

    Friend Tells of Annabella Sciorra's Mid-1990s Struggles at Harvey Weinstein Trial

    A longtime friend of Annabella Sciorra testified Friday in Harvey Weinstein’s criminal trial that the actor turned to cutting herself and exhibited other troubling behavior in the mid-1990s after she was allegedly raped by the disgraced film mogul. The defense questioning of model Kara Young got heated as Judge James Burke sustained repeated objections to [...]

  • Writers vs Agents Packaging War WGA

    Judge Doubts WGA Claim That Packaging Fees Are Kickbacks

    A federal judge seemed skeptical on Friday of the Writers Guild of America’s claim that packaging fees amount to a criminal kickback to agents. Judge Andre Birotte heard more than two hours of arguments from attorneys for the guild and three agencies: WME, UTA and CAA. He said he would issue a ruling at a [...]

  • Songs for Screens Powered by Mac

    Songs for Screens: Why Aerosmith Is Still Gold for Synchs

    Aerosmith’s star-studded tribute concert as the 2020 MusiCares Person of the Year honorees on Friday night (January 24) will cement another important milestone in the historic Boston-founded band’s contributions to the American rock canon. But over the past decade, some of the band’s best-known music has remained part of the cultural conversation through some of [...]

  • Sirius Logo

    Radio Hall of Famer Kid Kelly Leaves SiriusXM After Two Decades

    In a surprise move, veteran programmer, on-air personality and Radio Hall of Famer Kid Kelly has left SiriusXM after nearly 20 years with the radio giant, a rep for the company has confirmed to Variety. The news was first reported by RAMP. He most recently served as SiriusXM’s VP of Pop Music Programming. “After a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content