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Comcast acquires majority stake in Universal Studios Japan for $1.5 billion

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MUMBAI: Comcast NBC Universal has agreed to purchase 51 per cent ownership of Universal Studios Japan in a recapitalisation transaction, partnering with the current owners including Goldman Sachs, USJ’s CEO Glenn Gumpel, Asian private-equity firm MBK Partners, and U.S. hedge fund Owl Creek Asset Management. 

Comcast NBC Universal’s purchase price for the majority ownership of the theme park destination is $1.5 billion (?183 billion).

Located in Osaka and featuring classic Universal attractions as well as attractions and shows specifically designed for the Japanese market, USJ opened in 2001 and has experienced continued growth in attendance and revenue.

“We are excited to expand our global footprint with this wonderful theme park in Osaka and are excited by the opportunities that lie ahead in Japan and all of Asia. This investment represents a huge opportunity and commitment to creating value for our shareholders and continuing to grow internationally,” said Comcast chairman and CEO Brian L. Roberts.

Acquiring majority ownership of Universal Studios Japan continues Comcast NBC Universal’s ongoing investment strategy for its US parks in Orlando and Hollywood.

“We want to expand our theme park business around the world and this investment in Universal Studios Japan fits perfectly with that strategy. Our theme parks in the U.S. have performed exceptionally well and we look forward to working with our partners to achieve that success in Japan as we plan to introduce significant attractions at USJ over the next five years,” added NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke.

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