Revenue at Universal Music Group grew 13.5% year of year last quarter, according to financials reported by corporate parent Vivendi. But on everyone's mind were Vivendi's plan to sell a 50% stake in the world's largest music group.
Vivendi said that it has chosen 15 banks to help it find an investor for UMG, according to a filing:
“Following the preliminary work carried out by the Management Board, about fifteen banks were chosen for the bank selection process. The banks could help Vivendi identify one or more strategic partners for its subsidiary Universal Music Group. Vivendi will hold working sessions with these banks before the end of fall to determine their qualifications and discuss the potential terms of engagement and fees. The end goal of these working sessions is to select and retain five to seven banks that will be charged with finding the best partners for UMG. Universal Music Group’s 2018 financial results, which will be published on February 14, 2019, will serve as a basis for the discussions with potential partners. The cash from this sale may be used for a significant share repurchase program through a tender offer and for potential acquisitions.”
Liberty Media Is "Absolutely" Interested
Meanwhile, Greg Maffei, the CEO of Liberty Media which also owns major stakes in SiriusXM, Pandora and Live Nation, has announced his interest in UMG:
"Start with the premise that if there’s anything that comes up in music, we likely look. We’re as big a force, we have as much cash flow, as anybody in the music business. We will look at everything.
Will we look at UMG if presented [with the opportunity]? Absolutely. In principle – and we have to be opportunistic and look at the realities of the deal – does [buying some of UMG] potentially make some sense, to own a part of the content infrastructure as a way to hedge [royalty costs]? Absolutely.”