×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Vivendi Prepping ‘Potential’ Stock Listing of Universal Music Group

Vivendi has begun work on a “potential listing of Universal Music Group,” its largest asset, according to reports from a company shareholder meeting in Paris. The news was first reported in Financial Times and Reuters.

Vivendi chief executive officer Arnaud de Puyfontaine said at Thursday’s the meeting: “We have started work that will allow us to present the benefits of a potential listing of UMG to the supervisory board,” FT reported, citing Reuters. Representatives for UMG and Vivendi declined Variety’s request for further comment.

In an enthusiastic report in August, Goldman Sachs raised its valuation of UMG to $23.5 billion (from around $20.1 billion), a 16% jump, and Sony Music to around $20.1 billion, based on its prediction that worldwide revenues from streaming will reach a whopping $28 billion by 2030, a 16% jump from its previous estimates. Along with UMG and Sony, the two largest major label groups — which Goldman pegs as collecting “55-60 percent of royalties for every piece of content that is being monetized” — the report singled out Amazon, Pandora, Tencent, Apple and, to a lesser degree, YouTube/Alphabet as top beneficiaries from this growth.

2017 was a strong year for UMG, whose revenues were up 10% to $6.8 billion year-over-year at constant currency and perimeter, according to its earnings report. The company is helmed by chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge.

By that same standard, its recorded-music revenues grew by 11.3% to $5.5 billion while growth in subscription and streaming revenues — which were up some 35% — more than offset the decline in both download and physical sales. Music publishing revenues grew by 9.6%, also thanks to the boost in subscription and streaming revenues, as well as growth in synchronization and performance revenues.

Merchandising and other revenues were down 7%, due to lower touring activity.

The report singled out new releases from Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar and Drake along with carryover sales from The Weeknd, the “Despacito” single from Luis Fonsi and the 50th Anniversary edition of the Beatles’ “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” as well as soundtrack albums from the movies “Moana” and “La La Land” as primary drivers of the year’s growth. It also pointed to agreements with Tencent, Spotify, YouTube and Facebook, as well as its existing partnerships with Amazon and Apple, as “fostering an increasingly competitive and dynamic market for music among the biggest tech platforms and music services in the world.”

UMG’s income from operations amounted to €798 million, up 18.5% at constant currency and perimeter year over year as a result of higher revenues, with EBITA at €761 million, up 20.6% year over year as a result of higher revenues and “lower restructuring charges.”

More Biz

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Charged With Filing False Police Report

    “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett has been charged with filing a false police report, the Chicago police said Wednesday. “Detectives will make contact with his legal team to negotiate a reasonable surrender for his arrest,” police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said on Twitter. Smollett is due to appear in court for a bond hearing at 1:30 p.m. [...]

  • Coast Guard Lieutenant Hit List

    Coast Guard Lieutenant Targeted CNN, MSNBC Anchors and Democrats for Attacks

    Anchors at CNN and MSNBC and prominent Democrats were targeted for attack by a Coast Guard lieutenant arrested Friday on a firearms charge, according to federal prosecutors in Maryland. In court documents revealed Tuesday, prosecutors describe the firearms and controlled substance charges Christopher Paul Hasson is facing as “the proverbial tip of the iceberg.” CNN’s [...]

  • Jussie Smollett suspect

    Jussie Smollett Named a Suspect by Chicago Police for Filing False Report

    Chicago police have named “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett as a suspect in a criminal investigation, three weeks after he reported he was the victim of a hate crime. Detectives are presenting evidence to a grand jury, which is expected to determine whether to indict Smollett on a charge of filing a false police report. “Jussie [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business

    WGA, Agents Face Tough Issues on New Franchise Pact (Column)

    The Writers Guild of America and the major talent agencies are seven weeks away from a deadline that could force film and TV writers to choose between their agents and their union. This is a battle that has been brewing for a year but few in the industry saw coming until a few weeks ago. [...]

  • Island Records Names Christine Kauffman Senior

    Island Records Names Christine Kauffman Senior VP of Brand Partnerships

    Veteran advertising executive Christine Kauffman has been named senior VP of brand partnerships at Island Records, the company announced today. She will be based in New York and report to Island COO Eric Wong. In making the announcement, Island President Darcus Beese said, “The fast-paced and competitive field of strategic brand marketing has become an [...]

  • Latin Music Veteran Nir Serioussi Joins

    Latin Music Veteran Nir Serioussi Joins Interscope as Executive VP

    Interscope Geffen A&M announced today that veteran executive, producer and songwriter Nir Seroussi will join the company as executive vice president. The announcement was made by Interscope Geffen A&M Chairman and CEO John Janick, to whom Serioussi will report. (Seroussi, center, is pictured above with Janick, left, and Interscope EVP Joie Manda.) According to the [...]

  • Tan FranceUnforgettable Gala, Inside, Los Angeles,

    'Queer Eye' Star Tan France to Host Audiobook Audie Awards

    “Queer Eye” resident style expert Tan France is taking on a slightly different project next month as he hosts the Audie Awards, which honors the best releases and achievements in audiobooks over the past 12 months. The ceremony, which takes place on March 4 in New York, is an annual event organized by the Audio [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content