On December 3, it was announced that Willkie client Comcast Corporation has finalized a deal to buy a majority stake in NBC Universal from GE for $13.75 billion in cash and assets. Willkie is serving as FCC regulatory counsel to Comcast. As part of the deal, Vivendi SA agreed to sell off its 20 percent stake in NBC Universal to GE for $5.8 billion. The deal provides for Comcast gaining 51% of a joint venture that will own two broadcast networks, a host of cable channels (including Bravo, USA and MSNBC), the Universal movie studio, and theme parks. GE will own 49 percent of NBC Universal. The transaction values NBC's properties at $30 billion. With 23.8 million cable customers, 15.7 million high-speed Internet customers, and 7.4 million Comcast Digital Voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.
The deal is being handled by partners Michael Hammer and James Casserly; special counsel Michael Jones; and associates Daniel Alvarez, Brien Bell, Jonathan Friedman, Mia Hayes, Michael Hurwitz, Mary Underwood and Ryan Wallach.