Comcast to buy rest of NBC Universal from GE in $21b deal

(REUTERS) - Comcast Corp on Tuesday said it would buy General Electric's remaining 49 per cent equity stake in their NBCUniversal joint venture for about US$16.7 billion (S$21 billion), speeding up a deal that had not been expected until at least late 2014.

NBCUniversal will also buy from GE Capital the properties it uses at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City and CNBC's headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, for about US$1.4 billion.

Comcast said it would fund the deal with US$11.4 billion of cash on hand, US$4 billion in senior unsecured notes to be issued to GE, US$2 billion in credit facility borrowings and the issuance of US$725 million in subsidiary preferred stock to GE.

Separately, Comcast said it would increase its dividend by 20 per cent and that it would buy back US$2 billion in stock this year. GE also said it would accelerate its own share buy-back program to US$10 billion this year.