Comcast to buy Ed Snider’s stake in Spectacor assets

Company buys out parent of NHL's Flyers and Wells Fargo Center.

Comcast to buy Ed Snider’s stake in Spectacor assets

Comcast Corporation has agreed a deal to acquire the 24 per cent stake in the Comcast Spectacor venture held by the family of the late businessman Ed Snider.

The broadcasting and cable giant said on Thursday that the deal, which is expected to close next month, will see the company own 100 per cent of Comcast Spectacor, which is the parent company of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Philadelphia Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center, among other businesses.

Snider, who founded the Flyers franchise in 1967 and served as chairman of Comcast Spectacor, passed away after a two-year battle with cancer in April. He was 83.

"Ed was a visionary in the sports and entertainment industry and is deeply missed," said Brian L. Roberts, the chairman and chief executive of Comcast Corporation. "He planned for this transition and, thanks to his thoughtful approach on succession, Comcast Spectacor is in a strong position. 

“I’m very excited we are able to carry his spirit with us by bringing the company, its leadership, and its thousands of employees fully into the Comcast family."

Comcast’s takeover was due to be discussed at the NHL’s board of governors’ meeting in New York on Friday. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Comcast has said that Dave Scott will remain president and chief executive of Comcast Spectacor, while Paul Holmgren and Ron Hextall will continue as the Flyers’ president and general manager respectively. John Page will remain president of the Wells Fargo Center.

"Comcast Spectacor has had a terrific partnership with Comcast and Brian for more than 20 years," said Scott. "This transition strongly reinforces their confidence in us and our experienced leadership team. 

“We look forward to building on Ed’s vision and further growing Comcast Spectacor as a leader in the sports and entertainment industry."

Comcast first acquired majority ownership in Comcast Spectacor, which previously owned the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Philadelphia 76ers, in 1996.

Last year, Forbes valued the Flyers at US$660 million, putting them seventh among the NHL's 30 teams.