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NBC Universal agrees deal to sell A+E Networks stake

US cable and media giant Comcast’s NBC Universal unit has agreed to sell its 15.8% stake in A+E Networks to co-owners The Walt Disney Company and Hearst for US$3.03 billion (€2.46 billion).

The deal, to be paid for with a mix of cash and debt, values A+E, which owns A&E, Lifetime and  History, at a reported US$19.2 billion.

It is expected that Comcast will use the proceeds of the sale to move towards a purchase of the part of NBC Universal that it does not already own.

The deal follows a decision by Comcast in March to exercise an option to exit the three-way ownership structure set up when A&E acquired Lifetime in 2009, leaving Hearst and Disney as 50:50 co-owners of the venture.