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Vivendi considering Universal IPO

By | Published on Friday 20 April 2018

Universal Music

A potential Universal Music IPO is back on the cards, after parent company Vivendi revealed that it is considering listing the major label on the stock market.

According to Reuters, Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine said at the company’s AGM this week: “We have started work that will allow us to present the benefits of a potential listing of UMG to the supervisory board”.

Speculation about a Universal IPO has appeared at various points in the past, but has been particularly circulating for the last year, since Vivendi execs started talking up a $23.5 billion valuation for the major music firm. At the time, de Puyfontaine said that there were no plans to go down the IPO route, but he wouldn’t rule out such a move in the future.

The topic came up again at a conference in November, where de Puyfontaine said the he’d seen one estimate that valued the label at more than $40 billion.

Although this latest announcement seems very tentative, it may be that we see a slice of Universal actually go up for sale at some point.

Vivendi management and the firm’s investors may be buoyed by the success of Spotify’s recent stock market listing. They may also be concerned at the future growth of Universal – and the record business in general – being tied so closely to streaming services that are yet to prove that they are a viable business in themselves.