Close ☰
Menu ☰

Universal Music Group plans IPO

Posted on: Friday 14th of February 2020

French media conglomerate Vivendi said on Thursday it planned to list its most-prized asset, Universal Music Group, by early 2023 at the latest, following a year of record profit for the division.

An IPO – Initial public offering or stock market launch – is a type of public offering in which shares of a company are sold to institutional investors and usually also (a potion) to retail investors. Vivendi recently sold 10% of UMG to a consortium led by Tencent Holdings for $3.3 billion, a sum that values the company at a whopping $33 billion (as reported in Resolution V18.7).

“Vivendi is very happy with the arrival of Tencent and its co-investors,” that segment of the announcement reads. “In addition, Vivendi’s Supervisory Board was informed of ongoing negotiations regarding the possible sale of additional minority interests, which negotiation engagement, based on a minimum valuation of €30 billion, was announced on December 31, 2019. Eight banks have been mandated by Vivendi to assist it in this matter. An initial public offering is currently planned for early 2023 at the latest.”

Since it announced plans to sell up to 50% of UMG in 2018, Vivendi has pursued its concept to take advantage of music’s resurgent revenue growth. It said at the time of Tencent’s investment that the Chinese mega-corporation had an option to acquire another 10% by January 2021.

UMG, helmed by chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge since 2011, is the world’s largest music company. In August of 2017, Goldman Sachs valued UMG at $23.5 billion — $10 billion less than it was valued 18 months later, and roughly three times what it was said to be worth in 2013.

One week ago, UMG rival Warner Music Group announced that it has filed for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock. WMG, which was a public company under previous owners, went private in 2011 when Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries bought the company for $3.3 billion. WMG, along with UMG and Sony Music, are the triumvirate of “major labels”.

Music publishing has also seen unprecedented values in recent years, with Concord purchasing Imagem for $600 million in 2017, Round Hill Music acquiring Carlin for $240 million in 2018 and Songs Music Publishing selling to Kobalt for a reported $150 million.

The IPO news complemented a very strong 2019 earnings report for UMG, which saw its revenues reaching more than $7.7 billion, up 14% thanks to a 21.5% surge in streaming income. Recorded music revenues climbed 11.5% over the last year, and the company’s publishing revenues increased 9.2%. Its merchandise and other revenues grew nearly 74% over last year, due to growing numbers in touring and direct-to-consumer sales. For the fourth quarter of 2019, the company brought in nearly $2.3 billion in revenue, up from $2.06 billion in Q4 of 2019.



Latest News & Blog articles

  • In the tracks of its UF8 DAW controller, SSL has launched a new, software-specific control surface for its channel strip and bus compressor plug-ins.  With the UF8 now established as its main DAW control option, SSL is expanding its line of controllers with the UC1 – which brings the familiar layout and ergonomics of its […]
  • FAMA, a boutique record label with an emphasis on artist development, has built a destination recording complex in the Dominican Republic with the help of WSDG Latin. Available for creative retreats, song writing camps, and recording and mixing, the FAMA facility is “their dream studio”, delivered by WSDG Partner/Project Manager, Sergio Molho. “They found a […]
  • An interesting feature of Merging’s Anubis Ravenna interface, reviewed in Resolution V21.1, was the potential for it to completely change its functionality through the update of its ‘Missions’ – essentially its configuration and operation settings. The unit launched with one such Mission – monitor control – but now an update from the manufacturers is set […]
  • Eddie Kramer never tired of the experience, in this 2009 interview (Resolution V8.4) with Nigel Jopson, he talked Woodstock, Hendrix, heavy metal and 5.1 DVDs. After studying classical piano at the South African College of Music, Eddie moved to the UK with his family and got his first studio job at PYE in 1964, where […]
  • Based on the design of the company’s 6066 Subminiature Headsets, DPA‘s two new options feature the brand’s 5mm round microphone capsule, for use in broadcast, worship, theatre and conferencing. Providing a one-size-fits-all design, and adjustable height and boom length, the 4466 and 4488 headsets accommodate a wide range of head sizes. They also employ a […]
  • Rising pop producer Pete Rycroft (aka Lostboy) has seen chart-topping success in the UK during lockdown thanks to work undertaken in his private studio, which is built around a Patch software-driven analogue routing system. “When Covid hit, I was really lucky to have this space to work in,” he says. “The first thing I did […]
  • The Birmingham, UK-based Audio Suite facility has made a move to a historic building in the City’s Jewellery quarter and appointed engineer, mixer and producer Marcus Byrne as director of UK audio post-production. The move will see a master control room with Avid HDX2 running Pro Tools Ultimate through an Avid D-Command ES console, coupled […]
  • A group led by producer Harvey Mason Jr (left). has acquired Burbank’s neighbouring Evergreen and Enterprise Studios, and is in the process of installing two new SSL Duality Fuse consoles in order continue targeting high-profile recording, film and television projects
. The five-time Grammy nominated producer, songwriter and movie producer has also taken on the twin […]
Translate »