Ackman buys 10% of Universal Music for 3.5bn euro

Photo: EPA Bill Ackman

The company of the billionaire investor William Ackman Pershing Square Tontine announced it had sealed a deal to acquire 10% of Universal Music for 3.5 billion euros, Reuters reported. UMG, which is being spun-off by France's Vivendi, will complete its planned Euronext Amsterdam listing in late September.

"As announced, the transaction is based on an enterprise value of 35 billion euros for 100% of UMG's share capital," Vivendi said. Tontine confirmed it would distribute UMG shares to its shareholders only after the completion of listing. "Promptly following the completion of the listing and the effectiveness of the registration statement, the UMG shares acquired by PSTH will be distributed to our shareholders", it said.

Vivendi, controlled by French billionaire Vincent Bollore, is planning to cash in on its UMG crown jewel by spinning off the entity to existing shareholders. Earlier this year, the consortium led by Tencent Holdings purchased an additional 10% stake in UMG making the total equity stake controlled by the Chinese tech giant to 20%.

"The arrival of major American investors provides further evidence of UMG's global success and attractiveness," Vivendi said.

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