Universal Music Group parent Vivendi Universal today (Feb. 2) said that it will acquire from Matsushita the 7.66% share it owns of Universal Studios Holding I Corp. The deal is valued at $1.154 billio

Universal Music Group parent Vivendi Universal today (Feb. 2) said that it will acquire from Matsushita the 7.66% share it owns of Universal Studios Holding I Corp. The deal is valued at $1.154 billion.

USHI owns UMG, Universal Interactive, 20% of NBC Universal. It also has $3.7 billion of net cash resulting from the merger and creation of NBCU and "strong cash generation" from both NBCU and UMG, according to a statement issued by VU.

The transaction is expected to close on Feb. 7. Once completed, VU will assume full ownership of USHI by increasing its control and ownership in the holding company and its assets from 92.3% to 100%. Vivendi said the deal should add "at least" $30 million to its net earnings in 2006, after financing costs.

"Through this acquisition, Vivendi Universal is allocating resources to strengthen its position in global content activities and to further simplify its corporate structure," said the company in a statement.

The transaction puts an end to Matsushita's investment in Hollywood. The Japanese electronic firm bought film studio MCA Inc. in 1990 and sold 80% of it to Seagram five years later. Eventually Seagram and Vivendi merged to create Vivendi Universal in 2000.