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News on a possible Universal Studios sale could come as early as tomorrow

By Robert Niles
Published: October 13, 2009 at 2:01 PM
My former co-worker Staci Kramer offers the best explanation to date of where GE and Vivendi stand on a possible sale of NBC Universal to Comcast.

The Vivendi board meets tomorrow to discuss the proposed sale of its share to GE, though it could delay a decision on that sale until later this year.

"Sources say both Comcast and GE are prepared for Vivendi to go into November and possibly into December before it makes its decision known," Staci wrote.

As Staci describes it, GE would buy out Vivendi's 20% stake, then merge NBC Universal with Comcast. GE would retain a stake in NBC/Universal/Comcast, though it could eventually sell that stake to Comcast, which would give the cable giant complete control over NBC/Uni.

NBC Universal, in any case, would retain its ownership of Universal Studios Hollywood and 50% stake in Universal Orlando. (The other 50%, of course, being owned by Blackstone Group, which last week bought the SeaWorld and Busch Gardens parks in a separate deal.)

Readers' Opinions

From Gareth H on October 13, 2009 at 2:05 PM
This explains a lot!
From TH Creative on October 13, 2009 at 4:58 PM
Wait, I thought Marvel was buying Universal and Busch Gardens was buying World's of Fun to compete with Blackstone buying Disney.

Mr. Niles, could you please publish some sort of friggin' chart?

From James Rao on October 14, 2009 at 3:02 AM
Waitaminute... I thought a brand new ownership group called The TPI Collective was buying Worlds of Fun?!
From TH Creative on October 14, 2009 at 3:48 AM
Mr Niles writes: NBC Universal, in any case, would retain its ownership of Universal Studios Hollywood and 50% stake in Universal Orlando. (The other 50%, of course, being owned by Blackstone Group

I Respond: Sir, I have asked you this before: Do we have confirmation that Blackstone actually holds 50% of Universal Orlando?

From Jason Jackson on October 14, 2009 at 5:54 AM
Why doesn't Blackstone just by Comcast and Disney and make the monopoly complete? lol
From Ted Heumann on October 14, 2009 at 11:22 AM
In response to the question about Blackstone and Universal:

From http://www.blackstone.com/private_equity/corp_pe/portfolio.asp?Order=ByInvstDate

Universal Orlando

Description:
Universal Orlando operates the Universal Studios theme parks and related facilities in Orlando, Florida. Investment Type:
Equity - Joint Control (Corporate Partnership)
Transaction Size:
$2,065 M
Industry:
Theme Parks / Leisure
Investment Date:
July 2000
Status:
Partially Realized
Type Of Business:
Theme park operator

From TH Creative on October 14, 2009 at 1:34 PM
I realize that they have a partnership but is their stake actually 50%?

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