Vivendi is officially underway with preparatory work that may see it ‘spin out’ Universal Music Group as its own entity on the stock market.
The news, confirmed today by Vivendi CEO Arnaud De Puyfontaine, comes just three days after MBW analysis suggested that current market conditions may prompt the French UMG owner to seriously explore the option.
Speaking to shareholders in Paris today, according to the FT, De Puyfontaine said: “We have started work that will allow us to present the benefits of a potential listing of UMG to the supervisory board.”
The news was delivered as it was also announced that Yannick Bolloré will be taking over as Chairman of Vivendi’s supervisory board.
“We have started work that will allow us to present the benefits of a potential listing of UMG.”
Arnaud De Puyfontaine, Vivendi
He will succeed his father, Vincent Bolloré, who owns more than 20% of shares in Vivendi and has been Chairman since 2014.
Universal Music Group posted record annual sales in 2017 – topping $6bn across publishing and records for the first time in history – while annual EBITA profits leapt up 20.6% at constant currency to €761m ($860m).
Meanwhile, the major’s recorded music streaming revenues more than doubled in the two years from 2015 to 2017 (€954m to €1.97bn).
UMG made up 46% of Vivendi’s overall revenue in 2017 – comfortably ahead of Canal+ on 42%.Music Business Worldwide