Vivendi wants to distribute 60% of Universal and list it this year


PARIS (Reuters) – Vivendi announced on Saturday its intention to distribute to its shareholders 60% of the capital of its subsidiary Universal Music Group (UMG) and to list it on the stock market by the end of the year.

UMG, the global music giant with the artists Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Eminem in their catalog, has been considered for several years as the “nugget” of the portfolio of assets of the French media group controlled by the man of Vincent Bolloré business.

“The large institutional shareholders of Vivendi have been demanding for several years the split or the distribution of Universal Music Group (UMG) to reduce the discount of Vivendi conglomerate”, explains the group in a press release, adding that the management board had set itself to prior objective a minimum value of 30 billion euros for UMG.

This objective was reached, this valuation having been retained for the sale at the end of January of 10% of UMG to the Chinese group Tencent, which thus doubled its stake.

This transaction and “the demand from new investors at potentially higher prices now allow the management board to consider distributing 60% of UMG’s capital to Vivendi shareholders,” explains Vivendi.

This distribution of shares would take place as an exceptional distribution (“special dividend”) and the listing of UMG shares would be requested on the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, “in a country where one of the historic headquarters of UMG was located”, specifies the press release.

An extraordinary general meeting of Vivendi will be convened on March 29 to decide on the distribution. If she gives the green light, the distribution could be completed before the end of the year.

The group’s management board will also propose the payment of an ordinary dividend of 0.60 euro per share for 2020 at the annual general meeting scheduled for June 22.

(Marc Angrand)


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