Brace yourselves: Universal Music Group are discussing an IPO

Universal Music Group are the world’s biggest record label making millions every day, and they might open their shares up to the public.

After piracy began killing the music industry in the 2000’s, music streaming has clawed the industry back from its depths in recent years. Universal Music Group are one of the biggest to re-emerge in the streaming revolution posted record revenues of $4.5 million a day.

According to Reuters, Universal’s parent company Vivendi were told by bankers that “selling 10 percent of UMG would provide funds for other acquisitions”. With a value of $22 billion there’s certainly a lot to be made in Universal’s shares however bankers have tried, and failed, to get Vivendi to sell parts of Universal before.

Liberty Media made a pass at UMG following talks between Vivendi and Liberty Media chairman John Malone. Along with CEO Greg Maffei Liberty reportedly hoped to acquire UMG for $15 billion. Vivendi turned down the claim with UMG CEO, Arnaud de Puyfontain, saying at an Enders conference in London: “The disposal of our music business will be over my dead body.” Two years on and de Puyfontaine hasn’t entirely changed his mind, but has said: “This [UMG] is not a sacred cow.”

Whilst it looks like UMG and Vivendi still show no plans to sell entirely a public offering looks like it may be on the horizon. Vivendi’s CEO Vincent Bolloré spoke on whether they’d consider an IPO for UMG, saying: “The value of [UMG] increases every day and it’s true that an IPO would be an interesting thing. The key question for an IPO is to know when is the best time to do it. It’s like cheese puffs, you have to take them out at the right moment.”

Bolloré also confirmed to shareholders at a meeting in Paris that he plans for his son Yannick to eventually take his place as CEO.

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