Comcast Acquires Universal Studios Japan

U.S. media giant Comcast has extended its ownership of Universal Studios facilities by acquiring a 51 percent stake in Universal Studios Japan for $1.5 billion.

Photo: momopy

According to Variety, the deal was made through the company’s own NBC Universal unit and mandates that current CEO Glenn Gumpel step down and Goldman Sachs, MBK parners and Gumpel all retain minority stakes in the theme park, which is located in the city of Osaka.

Gumpel’s successor will be Jean-Louis Bonnier who is CFO of Universal Parks and Resorts. Gumpel has been CEO since 2004, and during his tenure the theme park has seen enormous growth and success as an independent company licensed from NBCUniversal.

In 2014 USJ received 11.8 million visitors, an increase of 17 percent over the previous year’s attendance. Moreover revenues increased by 44 percent. Comcast already owns both Universal Studios and Universal Theme Parks through its acquisition of NBCUniversal in 2013. Its plans are to expand the Osaka park.