Universal Music set for public listing by late September


There is some news on Vivendi’s plans to spin out Universal Music Group with a public listing on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange: a date. It was revealed in documents published ahead of Vivendi’s general shareholders’ meeting on 22 June, where a vote will be taken on the plans for the listing.

According to Vivendi, the listing is expected to happen “before or by September 27, 2021” if the plans – including a distribution of shares in UMG to shareholders in the parent company – are approved.

The documents also set out, again, Vivendi’s pitch for the value of Universal Music as a standalone company. It cites PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young’s financial valuation of €33bn for the music group, and also notes the €30bn valuation assigned by Tencent Holdings’s investment in UMG “as well as interests expressed by new investors at potentially higher prices”.

Is this still low? Goldman Sachs recently suggested that UMG could be worth €44bn in its latest report on the music industry, although that company’s historical relationship with Vivendi has been noted in past coverage of its bullish predictions.

Still, the September date is important news. The number of key music companies that are publicly listed, from labels (UMG, WMG, HYBE) to streaming firms (Spotify, Tencent Music), hardware companies (Sonos) and the new breed of rights buyers (Hipgnosis, Round Hill) is growing. That in turn gives us more data on their growth and financial workings, and a sense of how the markets view that.


Image by Naumova Ekaterina /

Written by: Stuart Dredge