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Universal Music Group Valued at About $39B Ahead of Listing

The Hollywood Reporter logo The Hollywood Reporter 9/20/2021 Georg Szalai

With French media conglomerate Vivendi set to spin off Universal Music Group (UMG) on Tuesday and the music major’s stock starting to trade on Amsterdam’s Euronext stock exchange, its stock’s reference price was set on Monday.

Vivendi, led by CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine, has long been planning the listing of the label home of Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga to take advantage of the rebound of the music business amid streaming growth. A Euronext notice on Monday said the company’s reference price, an indication or guide for investors, was set at 18.50 euros ($21.70) per share.

With more than 1.813 billion shares outstanding, the music powerhouse would at that price have a market valuation of about 33.5 billion euros ($39.3 billion).

The company previously said that UMG, led by chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge, would have an estimated equity value of 33 billion euros ($39 billion). Its market listing is Europe’s biggest so far in 2021.

Vivendi will distribute 60 percent of the share capital of UMG to its shareholders after previously selling a 20 percent stake in the music company to a consortium led by Chinese online giant Tencent and up to 10 percent to investor Bill Ackman. The company has said it would be retaining the remaining 10 percent for a minimum period of two years.

Vincent Bollore, the top investor in Vivendi who spearheaded the music spin-off, will own about $7 billion worth of UMG shares after the market debut, the company disclosed in a recent prospectus. The separation of UMG is expected to mean that Vivendi shares will trade lower.

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