NBCU Consolidates Theme Parks

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As expected, NBC Universal said Tuesday that it has agreed to purchase Blackstone Group's 50% interest in the Universal Orlando theme park, for $1.025 billion.
NBC Universal already owns the other half of the theme parks, which comprises Universal Studios Florida, Universal's Islands of Adventure and Universal CityWalk which are located at Universal Orlando. Entertainment web site The Wrap first reported last week that Comcast was negotiating a deal to buy out Blackstone's half. NBCU had until June 12 to seal a deal, or Blackstone would have been able to shop the interest to other parties.
"The acquisition consolidates our ownership and confirms our long-term commitment to Universal Orlando and the theme park business," NBCU CEO Steve Burke said in a statement. "Universal Orlando is a consistent and significant driver of operating and free cash flow 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."
The deal is expected to close July 1.