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Vivendi confirms Lucian Grainge deal at Universal extended until at least 2020

By | Published on Monday 3 August 2015

Lucian Grainge

Lucian Grainge will continue to run the world’s biggest music rights company until at least 2020, Armageddon pending, according to Universal Music owner Vivendi.

The French media firm confirmed on Friday that it had inked a new deal with Grainge, who took over the top job at the mega-major from Doug Morris (now running Sony Music, of course) in 2011. The new contract, and Grainge’s current plan for the music giant will, said Vivendi, “enable the company to maintain its profitable growth and continue to play a leading role in the transformation of the music industry”.

The renewed support for Grainge at Universal follows a significant shift in the regime running Vivendi itself, where Chairman Vincent Bollore has greatly increased his influence over the company’s affairs. And while his own business, the Bollore Group, has interests in all sorts of industries, and only controls around 14.5% of Vivendi stock, he seems to be taking a particular interest in assets like Universal Music.

As well as confirming that Grainge would continue to lead its music business for at least the next five years, Vivendi also revealed last week that making new investments in Africa, India and China is a priority for Universal, because these are “high-potential markets for music”. Oh, and that tricky need to accelerate the “monetisation of music on digital channels” is also at the heart of Grainge’s big five year plan. Which might make Armageddon look like the more attractive option.