Major Labels

China’s Tencent Eyes 50% Stake In UMG

UMG squareThe major labels always have always feared that Spotify has ambitions to also become a record label.  However reak that may or may not be, the streamer's partner in China, Tencent music is in serious talks to acquire  as much as 50% of Universal Music Group.


French conglomerate Vivendi SA is reportedly talking to a group of potential “strategic buyers” including Tencent Media Holdings about purchasing label giant Universal Music Group.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Vivendi turned to the potential strategic partners after some private equity investors backed away from the deal over concerns about price, which Vivendi has set a minimum value of 25 billion to 30 billion euros.

As well, the slow nature of the process was also a deterring factor, and as Bloomberg noted, Vivendi has yet to hire a formal advisor for the sale, despite multiple bids for UMG.

“When I think about the UMG deal, I think about the play ‘Waiting for Godot,”’ Macquarie Group Ltd. analyst Giasone Salati told Bloomberg. “Why pre-announce the deal such a long time in advance instead of just doing so once the deal has been agreed upon? Still, maybe it helps the stock price of Vivendi.”

Potential suitors reported to still be interested in acquiring UMG include Tencent, private equity giant KKR, Apple, and Liberty Media, which owns a stake in other entertainment properties, including Live Nation, Pandora, and SiriusXM.


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