The Universal Studios Theme Park property is located in Osaka and it is now run by USJ Co., the unit’s operating company.
The American multinational mass media company will be paying $1.5 billion for the stakes in USJ Co. The takeover gave Comcast complete control over the NBC broadcast network, including Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood.
“We had this ambition really since the beginning of our purchase of NBCUniversal“, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts said in a news conference, according to The Journal. After that USJ added a Harry Potter theme attraction to the park (at a cost of $400 million), the visitors began coming back in drove in droves.
Tokyo’s Disney Resort, which includes Disneyland and DisneySea, also had a record year with 31.4 million visitors though its growth was just 0.3 percent. The $3.1 billion investment was jointly funded and owned by Universal and the Beijing Shouhuan Cultural Tourism Investment Company.
There are no plans for a public listing for USJ in the “near future”, although new board members of the company could revisit the plan, Roberts said.
Universal Studios Japan, which has experienced continued growth in attendance and revenue since it opened in 2001, now operates as an independent company under license from NBCUniversal.
USJ listed in 2007, before being taken private by Goldman two years later as visitors slumped.
Universal Studio Japan chief exec Glenn Gumpel today announced his retirement after more than a decade in charge, effective when the transaction closes. “Our theme parks in the USA have performed exceptionally well and we look forward to working with our partners to achieve that success in Japan as we introduce significant attractions at USJ over the next five years”, declared Steve Burke, NBCUniversal CEO.