NBCU Consolidates Theme Parks

Buys out Blackstone for $1.025 billion
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As expected,
NBCUniversal 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.

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