Comcast Acquires 51% of Universal Theme Park in Japan for $1.5 Billion

comcast corp

Comcast Acquires 51% of Universal Theme Park in Japan for $1.5 Billion

U.S. cable giant Comcast Corp announced Monday that it has agreed to acquire a 51 per cent stake in Osaka-based theme park operator Universal Studios Japan for $1.5 billion as part of an acceleration of its global theme park strategy.

Comcast, which owns Universal Studios through its NBC Universal unit operating Universal Studios Hollywood in California and other theme parks, said 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 will remain as minority shareholders.

The purchase will enable Comcast NBC Universal and its Universal Parks & Resorts division to build a stronger and more direct presence in Japan while continuing to grow and evolve the theme park.

According to Comcast, the deal gives Universal Studios Japan an enterprise value of $6.2 billion.

This year, USJ had planned a Tokyo listing; however, it has become uncertain because of concerns about being crowded out by the $11.5 billion initial public offerings of Japan Post group companies in November, according to reports.

Brian Roberts, Comcast Chief Executive told reporters there were no plans for an IPO in the near term, but added a new board would take a decision on that.

The Universal Studios Japan theme park is located in Osaka and features classic Universal attractions as well as attractions and shows mainly designed for the Japanese market. It opened in 2001 as a joint venture between Osaka city and a group of private companies and was listed on the Tokyo bourse’s Mothers Market for start-ups in 2007.

USJ had planned to position itself as a competitor to Tokyo Disneyland but failed to gain control. In 2009, it was delisted after grappling with falling visitor numbers and was sold to a consortium led by Goldman Sachs.

But USJ has enjoyed renewed success ever since the opening of its Wizarding World of Harry Potter in July last year as well as other attractions. It also plans to build a new theme park in Okinawa.

USJ recorded 11.8 million visitors in 2014, a 16.8 percent increase from the previous year, and a revenue boost of 44 percent. It received a record 12.7 million visitors in the fiscal year through March 2015, though that trails the 31.4 million visitors to Tokyo’s Disney Resort, which includes Disneyland and DisneySea.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of November, Comcast said.

Avatar
Christy Gren
Christy Gren is an Industry Specialist Reporter at Industry Leaders Magazine she enjoys writing about Unicorns, Silicon Valley, Startups, Business Leaders and Innovators. Her articles provide an insight about the Power Players in the field of Technology, Auto, Manufacturing, and F&B.

Recent Posts

Goldman Sachs invests $69 million in fintech Starling

Goldman Sachs invests $69 million in fintech Starling

Goldman Sachs Growth Equity has invested £50 million ($69 million) in UK digital bank, Starling. The investment is in addition to the bank’s oversubscribed £272 million Ser
13 hours ago
Apple to launch hybrid TV set-top with speaker

Apple to launch hybrid TV set-top with speaker

Apple is bolstering its smart home devices space with the introduction of a new hybrid device— a combination of an Apple TV and a smart speaker with a screen, according to news r
18 hours ago
Leading Japanese automaker Toyota previews the future of EV – the bZ4x

Leading Japanese automaker Toyota previews the future of EV – the bZ4x

One of the most trusted pioneers of technology in the automotive sector, Toyota Motor Corp. has finally revealed the future of the EV segment by showcasing its new SUV, encompassin
18 hours ago
Mercedes unveils EQS electric sedan to rival Tesla’s models

Mercedes unveils EQS electric sedan to rival Tesla’s models

Mercedes-Benz has unveiled a battery-powered luxury car as part of the brand’s flagship S-Class saloon, designed to compete with Tesla. The 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS is set to relea
4 days ago
Major US banks report surge in profits for the quarter

Major US banks report surge in profits for the quarter

Three major US banks —JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.—reported earnings results for the first quarter of 2021.
4 days ago
Bitcoin Price surges above $63,000 ahead of Coinbase IPO

Bitcoin Price surges above $63,000 ahead of Coinbase IPO

Bitcoin price has once again soared over $63,000 USD as the cryptocurrency market braces for the upcoming Coinbase IPO. The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange platform, wh
4 days ago