GE Sells $4 Billion of NBCU Bonds to Investors
By Patrick McGee
General Electric Co. (GE) sold to investors $4 billion of NBCUniversal Enterprise Inc. bonds it acquired when it sold
the film and television company last month.
The bonds, which are backed by NBCU parent company Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), don't comprise new debt; rather, GE took the
bonds it received as part of the acquisition and resold them to investors, according to people familiar with the terms.
Comcast agreed to pay $16.7 billion last month to buy the remaining 49% stake in NBCU that GE held. Its initial 51%
stake was purchased two years ago, in a move that transformed the nation's biggest cable operator into a diversified
media company. The buyout was finalized Tuesday.
The bonds were rated A3 by Moody's Investors Service, A-minus by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, and BBB-plus by
Fitch Ratings. They were sold in the private-placement 144A market, where only qualified investors can participate.
The deal included two $700 million tranches of floating-rate notes, which pay investors a yield that fluctuates along
with broader interest rates. If rates climb, payments to investors will rise.
The three-year and five-year floating-rate notes will yield 0.537 and 0.685 percentage point more than the London
interbank offered rate, an industry benchmark. The deal also included $1.1 billion of five-year notes yielding 1.634%,
and $1.5 billion of six-year notes yielding 1.984%.
The four-part deal is the seventh-largest U.S. bond offering in 2013, according to data provider Dealogic.
NBCU's cable channels include USA, Bravo and MSNBC.
Write to Patrick McGee at firstname.lastname@example.org
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