French media giant Vivendi has confirmed that it is in talks to sell a 10% stake in Universal Music Group to hedge fund billionaire Bill Ackman, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, in a deal that values the company for music at 35 billion euros ($ 42 billion).
The transaction is subject to the approval of Vivendi shareholders. It precedes Vivendi’s plan to list Universal Music Group in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, at the end of September, when 60% of Universal’s shares will be distributed to Vivendi investors.
If Pershing Square Tontine Holdings is finalized, Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) will own 10% of Universal Music Group, while Vivendi will also own 10%. The remaining 20% of Universal Music Group is owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent.
Vivendi said in a statement, “Vivendi and Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, Ltd. (PSTH), represented by Chief Executive Officer Bill Ackman, have started discussions for Vivendi to sell 10% of the capital of Universal Music Group (UMG BV) to PSTH, prior to the distribution of 60% of UMG shares and its listing .
“This transaction would relate to an enterprise value of 35 billion euros for 100% of the capital of UMG BV, subject to the authorization given by Vivendi shareholders at the General Meeting of June 22, 2021, distribute 60% of the UMG share. capital and list the company.
Universal operates responsible labels for artists such as Ariana Grande, The Beatles, Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, and Nirvana.