Updated from 7:09 a.m. EST with premarket prices
, the nation's largest cable company, confirmed it has entered an agreement to gain control of
Comcast will wind up owning 51% of the newly formed company, with GE owning the remaining 49%.
Under the terms of the deal, GE will contribute NBCU's businesses, valued at $30 billion, to the joint venture. The assets include NBCU's cable networks, filmed entertainment, televised entertainment and theme parks. NBCU will borrow about $9.1 billion from third-party lenders and distribute the cash to GE.
Comcast will contribute its cable networks -- E!, Versus and the Golf Channel -- its 10 regional sports networks, and other digital media properties, valued at a total of $7.25 billion, and will pay GE about $6.5 billion of cash.
"This deal is a perfect fit for Comcast and will allow us to become a leader in the development and distribution of multiplatform 'anytime, anywhere' media that American consumers are demanding," said Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts, in a statement Thursday.
Roberts said the transaction is "strategically compelling and will generate attractive financial returns and build shareholder value." The deal is expected to be immediately accretive.
Comcast also said Thursday it was boosting its annual dividend by 40% to 37.8 cents, and said it intends to complete its buyback of $3.6 billion of stock over the next 36 months.
For GE, the transaction will generate about $8 billion cash at closing with an expected small after-tax gain.
GE will buy
20% percent stake in NBC Universal for $5.8 billion.
Comcast will manage the joint venture. Jeff Zucker, current president and CEO of NBCU, will be CEO of the new joint venture.
The deal is expected to close in a year pending regulatory and shareholder approval.
Shares of Comcast were rising 2.6% to $15.33 and GE's stock was up 9 cents to $16.16 in recent premarket trading Thursday.
-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York
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