UMG Fire Concerns Are ‘Just Noise,’ Says Vivendi Chair, As Music Group Sale Timetable Extended
Even as details emerge of a 2008 fire in a vault holding thousands of Universal Music Group recordings point to devastating destruction of historic masters, the chairperson of UMG corporate parent Vivendi is calling the concerns of artists and producers is "just noise."
"It’s a credit to the leadership of (UMG chief) Lucian Grainge,” Yannick Bolloré, CEO of Havas and chairman of Vivendi, Universal Music Group’s corporate parent told Bloomberg News at Cannes Lion.“ It happened 11 years ago and (the recent) headlines are just noise.”
Griange has promised full transparency, but UMG did issue a statement, saying that the NY Times and other reporting contained “numerous inaccuracies, misleading statements, contradictions and fundamental misunderstandings of the scope of the incident and affected assets.”
UMG Sale Talks Continue
“The supervisory board of Vivendi is working with the [UMG] management board to find the [right] financial partner," said Bolloré. “As you may know, the music industry is going through huge growth and the business is thriving, and we want to make sure we can accelerate the growth in the coming years so we have communicated that we want to open the process before the end of 2019 and the management is still very confident the process is on track.”
Previously, Vivendi had reportedly hoped to complete the sale by the end of this year. But recent reports suggest that the number of buyers seriously interested in UMG at the asking price may be smaller than anticipated.