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VIVENDI EYEING TENCENT FOR UMG STAKE (REPORT)


Complex international relations figure into a new Bloomberg report stating that some private-equity investors are balking at the high asking price Vivendi has set for a stake in UMG, as well as the slow pace of the process.

The same inside sources say one of the strategic buyers Universal’s French owner is targeting for a minority stake is Chinese tech behemoth Tencent. Such a deal could help UMG expand in the enormous Chinese market, but a sale to the Chinese could also raise the ire of officials in the U.S.

Vivendi is reportedly seeking 25-30 billion euros ($28-33b) for half of UMG, which is valued anywhere from $20b to $50b as a whole. Some potential advisers have floated the idea of a majority stake to gauge interest and test valuations, according to the sources.

The report places Liberty Media, Apple, KKR and another Chinese tech firm, Alibaba Group, on the relatively short list of potential strategic buyers.

RIC OCASEK,
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