The London Stock Exchange may be the listing venue of choice for companies like Hipgnosis and Round Hill Music, but Universal Music Group will be going public on a different European exchange – later this year.
Parent company Vivendi confirmed its plans to spin off UMG on the Euronext exchange in Amsterdam, in an announcement that came the week that Amsterdam overtook London as Europe’s top share-trading centre.
Shareholders in Vivendi will be doing very well out of the flotation: the company will be distributing 60% of UMG’s share capital to them as a special dividend. MBW calculated that this will mean even a 0.01% stake in Vivendi will garner a windfall (at UMG’s €30bn valuation) of $2.2m, while a 1% stake in Vivendi will haul in $218m of UMG stock.
We suspect there may be some spirited discussion in the coming weeks of how (or whether) Universal’s community of artists and songwriters will share the spoils from the listing. Rather than remaining aloof from that debate, it would be a good idea for UMG to address it as quickly and constructively as possible.
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