BOSTON (Reuters) – General Electric Co’s sale of a majority stake in its NBC Universal media arm to Comcast Corp marks a big step forward in what could be a time of significant restructuring at the largest U.S. conglomerate.
The long-expected sale of the media business, which accounted for about 10 percent of GE revenue, focuses the world’s biggest maker of jet engines and electricity-generating turbines more tightly on its core business of selling heavy equipment and financing the purchase of it.
The Fairfield, Connecticut-based company will receive about $8 billion in cash when the deal closes and gets the option to cash in the rest of its 49 percent stake in NBC Universal over seven years.
“We have the opportunity to redeploy $8 billion in cash back into a high-returning global infrastructure business,” GE Chief Executive Jeff Immelt said on a conference call. “We believe there are going to be multiple investment opportunities with attractive returns.”