Universal Music shares soar in stock market debut

Shares of Universal Music, whose lineup features The Beatles and Taylor Swift, soared on the label’s stock market debut on Tuesday, bolstering confidence in one of the largest IPOs in recent years.

© VALERIE MACON Universal Music owns a catalogue of four million songs

The music giant was floated by its owner, French media giant Vivendi, with shares jumping from a debut price of 18.50 euros to over 25 euros ($29) on the Euronext Amsterdam index.

The world’s biggest label, with a catalogue of four million titles, was valued at $39 billion on the eve of its market introduction.

Shares of Vivendi, by contrast, sank by more than 15 percent on the Paris CAC 40 stock exchange as the media company offloaded a majority stake of its crown jewel.

Vivendi is owned by French billionaire Vincent Bollore, who has positioned himself as a powerful right-wing media baron in recent years.

Although Vivendi retained a chunk of Universal Music, it is looking to focus more on TV, advertising and publishing. 

Universal Music, like its rivals Warner and Sony, was once threatened by music piracy but profits have soared in the age of streaming.

It is home to many of the world’s biggest music stars, from Lady Gaga to Kanye West to Metallica.

Last year the group bought Bob Dylan’s entire song catalogue for $300 million, one of the biggest acquisitions in music history.

– Risky move –

Based in Santa Monica, California, UMG has been a cash cow for Vivendi’s media empire, with a turnover of 7.4 billion euros last year, accounting for 46 percent of the parent company’s revenue.

But as it pivoted towards other areas, Vivendi sold off a 20 percent stake of Universal to Chinese tech firm Tencent and 10 percent to US financier Bill Ackman.

“We are creating the conditions so that the valuation of Vivendi as a whole is greater than the sum of the parts that compose it,” said Vivendi chief executive Arnaud de Puyfontaine.

Aware that shedding its number one asset might be a risky move, Vivendi has taken steps — described as “quite extraordinary” by one activist shareholder — to protect its own share price.

It secured agreement from its investors for a massive buyback of up to half its shares following the UMG flotation, but that did not stop them from falling on Tuesday.

The goal was to give the firm the means to protect itself from a hostile takeover bid should its share price fall after the sale.

– Not just music –

Tuesday’s operation involved Vivendi distributing 60 percent of UMG shares to its investors while the French company kept 10 percent and maintained a joint-management agreement with Tencent.

Bollore will remain a powerful figure at UMG, taking 18 percent of the floated stock, worth before the floatation at around six billion euros, and a seat on its new board.

UMG, meanwhile, is not just counting on its music to thrive as it goes public.

A prospectus for the IPO said UMG’s three main operating businesses are recorded music, music publishing and advertising, but that it is also expanding into areas such as live events, livestreaming, film, television and podcasts.

More than half of UMG’s record music revenue came from its vast back catalogue of music (defined as more than three years old), while 46 percent came from new releases.


Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related


Why does Fox play Phish tunes as outro music during the World Series?

The Burlington-born jam-rock band Phish has been a hugely popular touring act for 30 years, but it’s rare to hear the group on commercial radio or, especially, television. So why ... Read more »

‘X' marks the spot: ‘The Life and Times of Malcolm X' will launch Boston Modern Orchestra Project effort to spotlight Black composers

Thirty-five years ago, a composer and pianist named Anthony Davis made his first foray into the opera world with “X: The Life and Times of Malcolm X.” Shortly afterward, he ... Read more »

Chase Elliott: One way to counter 'desperation' of Martinsville racing

© James Gilbert Getty Images Chase Elliott: One way to counter ‘desperation’ of Martinsville racing The fall race at Martinsville Speedway tends to end with an equal combination of hurt ... Read more »

MLB free agency: Carlos Correa, Kyle Schwarber among players who boosted their stock most in postseason

No matter what happens the rest of the way, the 2021 World Series and the 2021 baseball season will be over one week from Thursday. Game 7 of the World Series ... Read more »

Texas Woman Trying to Break Away from Husband Is Killed After Years of Alleged Abuse

A Texas woman was allegedly shot multiple times by her husband outside a Beaumont business Saturday. Her family claims he had been abusing her for years. © Provided by People ... Read more »

‘Steadfast and Devoted' New Hampshire State Trooper Killed in Collision with Tractor-Trailer on Interstate Highway

© Provided by Law & Crime A tractor-trailer collision destroyed a vehicle driven by New Hampshire State Police Staff Sgt. Jesse Sherrill on Oct. 28, 2021. Sgt. Sherrill died as ... Read more »

Families in Charleston church massacre reach $88M settlement with DOJ

© Getty Images Families in Charleston church massacre reach $88M settlement with DOJ Families in the 2015 Charleston, S.C., church massacre have settled with the Department of Justice (DOJ) for ... Read more »

Drake Moves Into $65 Million ‘Natural' Beverly Hills Mansion

© Karwai Tang/Wireimage/AP The entire Beverly Hills neighborhood of Trousdale Estates is buzzing about the posh area’s newest celebrity resident — music superstar Aubrey “Drake” Graham. Though he’s spent the ... Read more »

Roadrunner announces its first slate of shows next spring, including Mitski, JoJo, Lake Street Dive

Roadrunner, the concert venue due to open in Allston next spring, has announced 10 artists who will take the stage there beginning in March 2022, including Mitski, JoJo, Bleachers, and ... Read more »

Here's what's in Biden's budget deal — and what it would mean for you

President Biden announced a framework for his $1.75 trillion Build Back Better domestic spending plan Thursday after months of negotiations among Democrats on Capitol Hill. Over the course of those ... Read more »


© [CONTRIBUTED PHOTO] Calendar Please send your events, meetings, etc., to PGriffin1@gannett.com at least 2 weeks in advance.    ECTC Season   Emerald Coast Theatre Company presents Cabaret on the BOO-levard for ... Read more »

Kelly Lee Owens Shares “Unity,” the Theme Song for the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup: Listen

© Kelly Lee Owens, August 2021 (Gus Stewart/Redferns) LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 27: Kelly Lee Owens performs on the North stage during All Points East Festival 2021 at Victoria Park ... Read more »

Grand Rapids Area Events: See What's Coming Up This Weekend

© Shutterstock GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Looking to go on a family outing? Hoping to spend a night out with friends? Patch has you covered, we’re showcasing several events taking ... Read more »

Weekend things to do: Witches, mermaids and a $666 cocktail in Delray Beach

Halloween on a Sunday just feels right, with two days and nights to test drive costume ideas before the Big Dance (every gathering this weekend has costume potential, if not ... Read more »

Third person dies after Texas drag race crash

A 46-year-old woman has died after suffering injuries at a Texas drag race where a driver lost control and drove into a spectator area, bringing the incident’s death toll to ... Read more »

James Worthy blasts Lakers after poor performance vs. Thunder: 'This might have been the worst loss I've seen'

The Lakers made history against the Thunder. That’s not a good thing. Los Angeles led by as many as 26 points on Wednesday night, but Oklahoma City ultimately prevailed by a ... Read more »

Former Laker Mychal Thompson defends dunk that angered Russell Westbrook

Russell Westbrook called himself “old school” when explaining why he was upset with Darius Bazley’s dunk on Wednesday night, but one former Los Angeles Laker who played three decades ago ... Read more »

US reaches $88 mn settlement with Black victims of white supremacist

The Justice Department announced an $88 million settlement on Thursday with victims of a white supremacist who shot dead nine Black churchgoers in South Carolina in 2015. © JOE RAEDLE ... Read more »

This Alexa smart home device gives you smart curtains for $84

© Provided by BGR A person using a smartphone to control the SwitchBot Curtain There are thousands of great smart home devices out there these days. Tens of thousands, even. ... Read more »

Will the child tax credit continue in 2022? Here's everything we know

Only two child tax credit checks are remaining for 2021, with the second half of the payments arriving during tax season next year. For this year, families are getting six ... Read more »

Innistrad: Crimson Vow completes cycle of hunt dual lands

Innistrad: Crimson Vow will complete the cycle of two-color “hunt” lands that were introduced in Innistrad: Midnight Hunt. © Provided by Dot Esports Magic: The Gathering’s next set will introduce ... Read more »

Dead by Daylight adds a new skin for Resident Evil's Nemesis

© Provided by GamePur Nemesis is getting a brand new make-over in Dead by Daylight. The hulking monster known as Nemesis receives a new Blight Set, similar to the Pyramid ... Read more »

When does Innistrad: Crimson Vow release?

Get ready to attend the biggest wedding in Innistrad for Magic: The Gathering’s final set of 2021. © Provided by Dot Esports Innistrad: Crimson Vow is set during the opulent ... Read more »

Human Remains Found in Calif. Desert Belong to Missing N.J. Woman Lauren Cho, Authorities Confirm

Authorities have confirmed that human remains found earlier this month near where Lauren Cho was last seen in California belong to the New Jersey woman, who was last seen in ... Read more »

Christian Louboutin's First Red-Soled Heels + More From The Museum at FIT's ‘Head to Toe' Exhibition

© Eileen Costa fit-head-to-toe-exhibition-10 Click here to read the full article. The Museum at FIT presents “Head to Toe,” an exhibition that explores the history of Euro-American women’s fashion from ... Read more »

Mark Zuckerberg to make announcements about Facebook's future in keynote Thursday

Facebook is set to hold a product event on Thursday where it is expected to focus on its big bet on the “metaverse” and potentially reveal a new name for ... Read more »

Florida Sues Biden Administration Over Contractor Vaccine Mandate

(Bloomberg) — Florida sued the Biden administration over vaccine mandates for federal contractors, the latest in a wave of Republican pushback against the president’s orders to fight the pandemic. © ... Read more »

‘Great British Bake Off' star Prue Leith accused of ‘triggering' eating disorders

“Great British Bake Off” judge Prue Leith made “triggering” comments on air about calories and desserts. Barcroft Media via Getty Images On Season 12 of “The Great British Bake Off” ... Read more »

Virginia counties update election procedures to prevent disputes and better account for ballots

Several Virginia counties have refined their election processes in preparation for the governor’s race, hoping to ease the concerns of politicos already speculating an improper election. © Provided by Washington ... Read more »

Hochul outlines transparency push, releases Freedom of Information Act overhauls and recusal policies

ALBANY — Gov. Hochul is attempting to let some sunshine into state government. The governor unveiled new transparency plans Thursday from more than 70 state agencies and public authorities and ... Read more »

7-Year-Old Boy Playing Video Games Was Killed in 2020 When Gunfire Flew into Home, 2 Suspects Arrested

Two South Carolina men are in custody for the shooting death of 7-year-old boy Knowledge Sims. © Provided by People Columbia Police Department Knowledge Sims On April 29, 2020, Knowledge ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic