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Vivendi to launch Universal Music on the stock market

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Universal Music Group (UMG) which publishes or produces the Beatles, Bob Dylan, or artists like Rihanna, Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga, will be listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange by the end of the year. The parent company of UMG, Vincent Bolloré’s group, Vivendi, will distribute to its shareholders 60% of the capital of UMG, the value of which is estimated at 30 billion euros. This distribution will ultimately enable Vivendi to achieve a good financial transaction.

Universal Music Group (UMG) represents the nugget of Vivendi and its boss Vincent Bolloré with a catalog of stars such as Rihanna, Billie Eillish and Eminem and quality labels, Blue Note, Barclay or Island records to name only a small part. UMG is somewhat the musical memory of the last sixty years but also a subsidiary which brought in 5.3 billion euros in turnover in 2020.

So why does Vivendi distribute the best pieces of its goose that lays golden eggs to its shareholders? Because these shareholders demand it, explains Vivendi, a conglomerate which suffers a stock market discount precisely because of the lack of clarity and profitability of its subsidiaries. Vivendi will therefore sell its shareholders 60% of the capital of UMG, the total value of which weighs 30 billion euros, and will list the company on the stock market. Vivendi, which will retain 20% of UMG, could then sell part of it and earn enough to do some shopping on the media market.

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But not everyone is happy with the prospect. The rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S & P Global Rating) recently lowered its outlook on Vivendi. It is not certain, then explained the American agency, that the group can find in the sector of the media of the assets which return as much as Universal Music Group. In music as in business, false notes are not recommended.

► See also: United States: the “New York Times” reveals the loss of Universal’s musical archives

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