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NBCU Scores $9.45 Billion Financing for Comcast Deal

NEW YORK: NBC Universal has acquired the $9.45 billion in financing it needs to complete a transaction with Comcast. The cable operator agreed last December to buy a majority stake in NBCU from parent corporation General Electric. The transaction involved Comcast paying GE $8 billion in cash for 51 percent, with an option for GE to cash out on the remaining 49 percent over seven years.

The plan is to spin NBCU into a joint venture between Comcast and GE valued at $30 billion. NBCU sought the financing to disburse to GE so the 20 percent piece of it owned by Vivendi could be purchased. Dow Jones reports that the content company received a three-year credit agreement on a $3 billion loan facility, a $750 million in a revolving credit facility, plus a bridge loan for a $6.1 billion credit facility.

The deal remains under the scrutiny of lawmakers and regulators. It would mark the first time a pay TV operator would own one of the major broadcast networks, and in this case, it’s the nation’s largest pay TV provider.

The FCC recently opened up a proceeding to gather public comments on the deal that would put two broadcast networks--NBC and Telemundo--26 TV stations, several cable networks, a movie studio, a theme park and extensive digital properties and news operations under the control of Philadelphia-based Comcast. -- Deborah D. McAdams