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Vivendi moves forward with UMG sale

UMG valued at €30bn as French media giant enters into talks with Chinese tech firm Tencent to sell 10% stake

By Anna Grace on 06 Aug 2019

Vivendi in talk to sell 10% UMG to Tencent

image © Universal Music Group

French media conglomerate Vivendi is in talks with Chinese tech group Tencent to sell 10% of its stake in Universal Music Group (UMG).

According to Vivendi, the deal would place UMG at a valuation of €30 billion. Tencent would also have the option of increasing its stake by another 10% in a year, at the same valuation.

Vivendi shares rose 9% in early trading today (Tuesday 6 August), following the announcement of Tencent negotiations and were up 6% to €25.4 at press time.

The French media company believes the deal with China’s Tencent could aid UMG growth through “digitilisation and the opening of new markets”. The company also hopes to improve promotion of UMG artists.

“Vivendi is keen to explore cooperation which could help UMG capture growth opportunities offered by opening of new markets”

The potential sale of a UMG stake has been discussed since 2018, with the plan being to sell the stake to “one or more strategic partners”, rather than via an IPO.

A statement from Vivendi states the media company will continue the process for the sale of an additional minority stake in UMG to other potential partners.

Recent Vivendi half-year financial results show UMG revenues up 18.6% to US$3.7bn, with music by artists including Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish performing particularly well.

The results also showed revenue from Vivendi’s live entertainment and ticketing unit, Vivendi Village, up 55% on a year-on-year basis to €66m.

 


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