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VIVENDI FINALIZES 10% UMG SALE TO BILL ACKMAN

Vivendi finalized a deal Sunday to sell 10% of its stake in Universal Music Group to Tontine Holdings, a SPAC (special acquisition company) started by activist investor Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square hedge fund. With the sale, UMG is valued at more than $42b. The deal will close on 9/15.

Vivendi has been planning to publicly list UMG this fall in Amsterdam, where it will offload 60% of the company to Vivendi shareholders. Those plans remain unchanged. Chinese conglomerate Tencent has already purchased 20% of UMG.

"This investment represents a strong validation of UMG, our strategy, our people, our legendary catalog and our amazing roster of artists and songwriters," UMG CEO Sir Lucian Grainge wrote in a staff memo on Sunday while wading in a pool filled with Beluga caviar. "And the fact that we now have, in addition to Vivendi, two committed investors—the consortium led by Tencent, as well as PSTH [Pershing Square Tontine Holdings]—is as powerful an endorsement as one could imagine from the investment and technology communities."

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