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"We want to get this done by the time they give their verdict on the transaction."
—-Phillippe Capron, Vivendi, on UMG divestitures

UMG PLANNING DIVESTITURES
IN EMI DEAL

Company Plans to Sell More Than $650 Million in “Non-Core Assets”
Universal Music Group is prepared to sell more than $650 million in “non-core assets” in order to help pay for its purchase of EMI, according to parent company Vivendi financial disclosures.

That amounts to 500 million euros, or nearly half the sale price of 1.2 billion euros ($1.58 billion). The project is expected to generate more than £100 million per annum in synergies, with UMG committed to sell €500 million of its non-core assets “to partially finance this transaction."

These divestitures also could conceivably help smooth the regulatory approval process.  According to Vivendi SA chief financial Philippe Capron, the plan is to sell these assets before the regulatory commissions’ decision is due. 

"We want to get this done by the time they give their verdict on the transaction," Capron told Bloomberg late last week.

The news was closely followed by the sale of UMG’s Fontana to digital distributor INgrooves last week, which now becomes INgrooves Fontana.

The European Commission issued a tentative deadline of March 23 for its decision, but insiders insist the actual process could take between six and nine months, with Vivendi chief Bernard Levy telling investors not to expect a decision until the second-half of this year.  Back in the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission is also kicking the tires, though the European regulators are considered a much tougher sell when it comes to these sorts of mergers.

Among those opposing the pairing are Warner Music Group’s Len Blavatnik, who has become increasingly outspoken about his desire to kibosh the pairing, along with ex-Chairman Edgar Bronfman, as well as indie coalitions AIM and IMPALA

 

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