The Strategist

Vivendi shareholders back Universal Music's spin-off into a separate company

06/23/2021 - 04:01

Shareholders of French media group Vivendi have overwhelmingly, by about 75%, approved the spin-off of its record company Universal Music Group (UMG) into a separate company.

Tony Webster
Tony Webster
As part of the plan, 60% of UMG's shares will be sold on the open market in an IPO, which is expected to take place as early as September on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange. UMG is a key asset of Vivendi, bringing it about 75 percent of all profits. A consortium of investors led by Chinese internet company Tencent already owns 20 percent of UMG.

Vivendi's intention to IPO the record label has been previously reported, but then the talk was about 2023. Reuters reports that the plans reflect the desire of Vivendi's largest shareholder, French billionaire Vincent Bolloré, to capitalise on the rise of the music industry in recent years. The entire UMG was valued at around €30 billion, but last weekend the SPAC company of renowned entrepreneur Bill Ackman agreed to buy 10% of UMG for $4 billion, giving a valuation of the entire company already at €35 billion.

UMG is among the so-called record industry majors - the largest record companies in the world. The company represents such stars of world show business as Kanye West, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus, etc., owns the rights to the music of such groups and artists as ABBA, The Cure, Nirvana, Beastie Boys, Frank Sinatra, Chris Cornell, etc.