Comcast to sell stake in A&E Television to Walt Disney, Hearst for $3.02 bn

Comcast Corp yesterday said that its NBC Universal unit will sell its 15.8-per cent stake in History Channel owner A&E Television Networks to other joint venture partners for $3.02 billion in cash.

Comcast had acquired the stake following its 2011 acquisition of a 51-per cent majority stake in NBC Universal from General Electric Co.

Comcast will sell its stake in A&E to Walt Disney Co and Hearst Corp, which currently own 42.1 per cent and 42.2 per cent stake respectively.

Post sale, Walt Disney and Hearst Corp will own 50 per cent each of A&E.  The sale of Comcast's 15.8-per cent stale gives A&E Television Networks a market value of nearly $19 billion.

The A&E network's channels include History, Bio, Crime and Investigation, Lifetime, and Military History.

Philadelphia-based Comcast runs cable television, broadband internet, digital voice and home networking in 39 US states, and has 24 million cable customers, over 15 million high-speed internet users and 7 million Comcast digital-voice customers. Comcast Cable also operates regional sports networks.