Up to 50% of major label Universal Music Group is for sale

The biggest music label in the world has up to half of it’s stakes up for sale presenting a major opportunity for investors.

Vivendi have just appointed banks who will manage the sale of up to 50% of their subsidiary Universal Music Group’s shares. UMG are currently the major record label with the biggest share of the music industry in the world.

It has been a year since the French media giant announced their plans to sell off a minority interest in the major label “to one or more strategic partners, in order to extract the highest value”. But earlier this year they were reported as having difficulty, with potential buyers dropping out for the time being citing the lengthy process.

Macquarie Group Ltd. analyst Giasone Salati said at the time: “When I think about the UMG deal, I think about the play ‘Waiting for Godot’. Why pre-announce the deal such a long time in advance instead of just doing so once the deal has been agreed upon? Still, maybe it helps the stock price of Vivendi.”

The sale-process for UMG’s stakes can now begin with the as-yet-unannounced banks appointed to manage the sell-off. Reports suggest that Chinese multi-national company Tencent Holdings have been in preliminary sale talks about making a minority investment.

Vivendi will remain the major stakeholder in UMG but we should see bids for shares in the company begin now.

Head of Social Media and Marketing, RouteNote

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