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UMG REVS RISING,
SUITORS CIRCLING

Vivendi expects to close its deal to sell 10% of Universal Music Group to Tencent in the next few weeks and is pursuing the process of potentially selling an additional minority stake in UMG to other partners.

The timing is right: UMG pulled in nearly $1 billion from streaming in the third quarter.

The company made the announcement Thursday during their quarterly report at which they noted  UMG’s revenues hit $5.66b in the first nine months of 2018, a 22.7% rise on an actual basis). Recorded-music revenues grew by 15.6% at constant currency, with streaming revenues up 23.4% and physical sales rising 14.9%. Download sales dipped 20.4%.

Vivendi is selling the 10% slice to Tencent based on a $33.4b valuation, and any further sales would be based on that amount as well. They say there are already interested parties with cash in hand.

In a conference call, Vivendi execs said they expect any new buyers would be strategic partners in the way that Tencent is expected to assist UMG in China.

Music-publishing revenues grew by 9.7% at constant currency and perimeter compared to the first nine months of 2018.

In the third quarter, which ended 9/30, UMG pulled in $931m from streaming and subscriptions, a 19.7% leap in organic growth. Physical sales were just under $256m, a 14.8% spike, and publishing raked in $326m, a jump of 8.7%.

For the fourth quarter, the company is keen on soundtracks from Charlie's Angels, Cats and Frozen 2, and new albums from Beck and Andrea Bocelli.

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