VIVENDI is thinking about putting up to half of the UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP (UMG) on the block, REUTERS reports. The FRENCH media conglomerate had been floating the idea of cashing in on the world’s biggest music label, depending on market conditions.
UMG’s value had risen of late, thanks to increased streaming revenue and the signing of several major license deals; analysts peg its value as anywhere from $23 billion to $35 billion. VIVENDI itself reported a 32% jump in first-half core operating profit and had entered in exclusive talks with SPANISH group GRUPO PLANETA to acquire FRENCH publishing group EDITIS for $1.05 billion.
“We started a process working on the different assumptions,” VIVENDI CEO ARNAUD DE PUYFONTAINE said on a call with analysts. “We did receive the agreement to go up to 50 (percent), because it gives a range of possibilities just to welcome maybe more than one potential partner.”
VIVENDI did not mention any possible suitors for UMG, but said that it would soon be engaging banks to help identify strategic partners. Any deal would likely to be launched this Fall and could be completed in the next 18 months.