On Monday, Comcast NBCUniversal announced that it has agreed to purchase 51% ownership of Universal Studios Japan in a recapitalization 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 NBCUniversal’s purchase price for the majority ownership of the theme park destination is ¥183 billion (US$1.5 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,” said Brian L. Roberts, Chairman and CEO of Comcast. “This investment represents a huge opportunity and commitment to creating value for our shareholders and continuing to grow internationally.”
Acquiring majority ownership of Universal Studios Japan continues Comcast NBCUniversal’s ongoing investment strategy for it’s U.S. 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,” added Steve Burke, CEO of NBCUniversal. “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.”