NBC, Vivendi create NBC Universal

NEW YORK -- The Universal theme parks have a new corporate parent -- General Electric, which owns NBC.

NBC Universal came into being Wednesday, with the closing of the merger of GE's NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment.

The new company, a global media and entertainment conglomerate that expects 2005 revenue of $15 billion, is 80% owned by GE and 20% by Vivendi Universal.

In closing the deal, Vivendi Universal received $3.4 billion and NBC Universal took on $1.7 billion in Vivendi Universal debt.

Regarding the theme parks, NBC Universal owns interests in five of them, including Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal Orlando.

On the management front, Ron Meyer became president and chief operating officer of Universal Studios, meaning he's responsible for Universal Pictures, the Hollywood studios, and the Parks and Resorts unit.

Meyer formerly was president and COO of VUE.

Stacey Snider and Tom Williams will continue to lead the Parks and Resorts division, NBC Universal said.

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