Featured News

Vivendi to spin off Universal Music Group this year

Vivendi has announced plans to spin off its Universal Music Group (UMG) subsidiary in a public listing to be worth at least €30bn.

The European media giant, which is also the owner of See Tickets, Digitick and Paylogic, confirmed on Saturday that it aims to distribute 60 per cent of the subsidiary’s share capital to shareholders. It has set a minimum target of €30bn (£26bn/$36.4bn) for UMG’s enterprise value.

This distribution would take the form of a special dividend and global music corporation UMG — which owns major labels such as EMI, Motown and Def Jam — would seek to list on the Euronext stock exchange in Amsterdam, with the Netherlands being one of UMG’s historical homes.

Vivendi said in a statement that the transaction has received an initial favourable response from the Tencent-led consortium with whom the planned listing will be examined.

The consortium last month closed the acquisition of a second 10 per cent share of UMG equity, taking its total holding to 20 per cent. This move gave UMG an enterprise valuation of €30bn.

“Vivendi’s leading institutional shareholders have been pressing for a number of years for a split or the distribution of Universal Music Group (UMG) to reduce Vivendi’s conglomerate discount,” Vivendi said in a statement.

Vivendi said it would hold an extraordinary shareholders meeting on March 29 to modify the company’s by-laws and make the distribution possible.

In addition, Vivendi will propose to distribute a €0.60 per share dividend for its 2020 fiscal year at a shareholders meeting scheduled for June 22.