GE retains Universal for at least another year

Posted Thursday, January 13, 2005 11:46 AM | Contributed by Jeff

General Electric Co. has locked itself into the volatile theme-park business for another year, promising not to sell its share of Universal Orlando at least until 2006. GE has renewed an agreement with the Blackstone Group -- the New York private-equity firm that owns the other half of Universal Orlando -- to prevent any sale until after January 1, 2006.

Read more from The Orlando Sentinel.

Thursday, January 13, 2005 11:48 AM
Jeff's avatar I can't believe they were posting losses that big, but clearly the turn around is pretty extreme. I was astounded at the attendance in November in the parks and on City Walk. Compared to the last three years, it was like a different place.

I get really nervous about any change in ownership because I think they really have a good thing going down there.

Thursday, January 13, 2005 12:41 PM
eightdotthree's avatar Maybe they can put some of that profit towards some new wheels on Hulk. :)

We are allready looking forward to going back for a winter break next year.

Thursday, January 13, 2005 12:43 PM
I found that all the parks in Orlando were much busier this November than they had been in the past. Lets hope the rest of the Amusement park industry sees the recovery that Apparently WDW and Universal Florida have seen.


Thursday, January 13, 2005 1:05 PM
I agree that the parks were busier. I went in early Dec and never saw the crowds that busy before in Dec. and i have been going at that time of the year along time.
Thursday, January 13, 2005 4:29 PM
Rode Hulk in Dec and just did not feel the "bad wheels" that so many seem to talk about. Seemed like the same old smooth ride to me.

I too am nervous about a change in ownership. However, I wonder if the current group(s) have any incentive to upgrade at this time...?

I would think that IOA is due for something in the near future IF it is to keep up...Of course it has such a nice lead in terms of thrills and theming, that maybe there is no need for upgrades yet...

Friday, January 14, 2005 2:16 AM
I know I should know this, but since GE and that private group have Uni parks (I'm assuming the one in Cali as well, but how bout Japan, or is that like Tokyo Disney and owned by another group?), who ended up purchasing Vivendi and all? It was like, what, Sci-fi network, Universal Pix, Vivindi, and what else? Who ended up with them?

I would hope that if Universal is sold, that Paramount would end up picking them up. I think they would do well, since they're trying to mold themselves into a movie park anyhow. I just wish they would have gotten the Sci-Fi channel (esp. for Star Trek).

Friday, January 14, 2005 10:40 AM
Jeff's avatar Vivendi is primarily a French utility. The video game publisher is still going by "Vivendi Universal" so I'm not sure if that unit was part of the deal.
Friday, January 14, 2005 3:23 PM
Vivendi Universal games and Universal Music Group stayed with Vivendi. Everything else went to GE/NBC including their cable networks.

Sci-Fi channel, Bravo, USA network, Telemundo, CNBC, & MSNBC are all part of the NBC networks now. Sci-Fi and USA were acquired with the Vivendi deal if I remember correctly. NBC had already picked up Bravo and Telemundo in previous deals.

As to the parks, I don't see how they can see it as anything else other then a win-win situation for everyone. They get free advertising for their networks and an unlimited supply of themeing options. The one thing that concerns me with GE/NBC is the monitary commit to running three heavily themed parks and continuing competition with the mouse.


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