France-based media giant Vivendi will appoint “several investment banks” tomorrow (July 25) for the sale of up to 50% of its subsidiary Universal Music Group (UMG).
Today’s news, reported by Reuters citing a source close to the matter, follows Vivendi’s assertion last month that it is “very confident” the UMG sale process will be ignited by the end of the year.
When Vivendi initially announced its intention to sell off up to half of UMG last July, it suggested that it could possibly complete the UMG process by the end of January 2020.
In May this year, a Bloomberg report suggested that Vivendi was facing difficulties in the sale process of UMG, citing sources who said that “some private equity investors balk at the high price and slow pace of the deal”.
That report also revealed that Vivendi held preliminary sale talks with Tencent Holdings about making a minority investment in UMG.
“Vivendi is doing very well, UMG is doing very well. The question is how to find the right partner, up to 50%.”
Yannick Bolloré, Vivendi, speaking in June
Speaking to Bloomberg news last month, Vivendi Chairman Yannick Bolloré said of the UMG sale: “We are not in a hurry. Vivendi is doing very well, UMG is doing very well. The question is how to find the right partner, up to 50%. But everything’s fine – trust me!”
During the interview with Bloomberg journalist Caroline Hyde, Bolloré also clarified that Vivendi was looking to find a “strategic or financial partner, [for] up to 50%, to accelerate the growth of UMG”.
He added: “As you may know, the music industry is going through a huge period of growth – the business is thriving – and we want to make sure we can accelerate this growth in the coming years.”Music Business Worldwide