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THE FUTURE OF STREAMING MAKING
A SPLASH

Check this out: The Financial Times reports that an activist investor pushing for a break-up of Vivendi wants the company to spin off UMG “to take advantage of investor excitement over the future of streaming music.”

Said investor, Schoenfeld Asset Management, which controls .8% of Vivendi, said UMG “would benefit from operating and structural advantages as an independent company [and would become] an attractive strategic acquisition target for companies with digital streaming platforms.”

UMG was recently valued at close to $9.8 billion, including debt, with expectations that the enterprise value will increase to $13.4 billion by 2018. John Malone’s Liberty Media would be a “natural” buyer for UMG, a person close to key Vivendi investors told FT.

This scenario seems unlikely in that Schoenfeld is a small stakeholder and Vivendi CEO Arnaud de Puyfontaine recently said the music company would be sold “over my dead body.” But it does speak to the presumed future value of content kings like UMG, and that’s an encouraging sign at a pivotal point in time.