Comcast NBC Universal, the corporate owners of Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood, will soon have full control of another Universal resort when they finally buy 100% of Universal Studios Japan later this year, ahead of the 2020 debut of Super Nintendo World.
Comcast NBCUniversal announced today that it agreed to purchase 49 percent ownership of Universal Studios Japan (USJ) from its current partners, including Goldman Sachs, former USJ Chief Executive Officer Glenn Gumpel, Asian private-equity firm MBK Partners and U.S. hedge fund Owl Creek Asset Management. The purchase price for this transaction is ¥254.8 billion (US$2.3 billion), valuing USJ at ¥840 billion (US$7.4 billion), including the assumption of USJ net debt. Upon completion of the transaction, Comcast NBCUniversal will own 100 percent of the theme park destination.
Scheduled to open in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Super Nintendo World at USJ will be a highly themed and expansive area featuring globally popular characters and their game worlds from Nintendo brought to life. The purchase transaction is expected to close before the end of April 2017.
Universal Studios Japan opened in 2001 as a Japanese company with a license from NBCUniversal. It features classic Universal attractions as well as attractions and shows specifically designed for the Asian market. USJ opened The Wizarding World of Harry Potter themed area in 2014, the Flying Dinosaur roller coaster last year, and will soon open Minion Park, the world’s largest Minion-themed area.
“Universal Studios Japan is an amazing and incredibly successful theme park,” said Tom Williams, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for Universal Parks & Resorts. “This acquisition will bring an even stronger future for the theme park, its guests and its team members. We are thrilled USJ will fully be part of the Universal family and look forward to continuing to create a remarkable experience for our guests.”
Elsewhere in Asia, Comcast licences the Universal Studios theme and attractions to Universal Studios Singapore, a Malaysian conglomerate founded in 1965 that controls the Resorts World brand. Comcast NBCUniversal is also building a Universal Studios theme park destination in Beijing, which is jointly owned by Comcast and the Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment Co., Ltd. (BSH Investment), a consortium of four Chinese state-owned companies.
For more about international theme park ownership, read this article about overseas Disney resorts, and enjoy these videos from our recent visit to Universal Studios Japan: