NBC Universal has nearly inked a deal to unload its 15% stake in A&E Television Networks for a lofty $2.8 billion to Walt Disney (DIS) and Hearst, the New York Post reported.
The valuation represents a hefty 40% premium on the $2.019 billion price tag NBCU placed on the stake just two months ago, prior to the airing of the History Channel’s very successful “Hatfields & McCoys,” which drew an average of 14 million viewers during its debut.
In addition to the History Channel, AETN also owns the A&E Network, Lifetime, the Biography Channel and Military History.
NBCU, which is majority owned by Comcast (CMCSA), disclosed plans earlier this year to sell its stake in the company. A deal had been expected to be announced before the end of the second quarter.
According to the Post, a price has been agreed on but other details remain outstanding. NBCU is selling its stake to Disney-ABC and Hearst Corp., which each own a 42.5% stake in the venture.
The transaction would value AETN at around $20 billion, which is just $10 billion less than NBCU was valued at when it was taken over by Comcast from General Electric (GE) in 2010. J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM) is representing AETN in the deal.
Shares of Comcast jumped 0.7% to $31.68 Friday morning even as the S&P 500 slumped 1% in the wake of a disappointing June jobs report. Disney’s shares were recently off just 0.2% to $48.02.