BIG BILLING: Financier Bill Ackman has come roaring back to the forefront of the UMG pre-IPO narrative as his Pershing Square Holdings acquires 7.1% of the company for $2.8b, with an option to buy another 2.9% by September.

The purchase affirms Universal’s valuation in the $40b neighborhood and silences the doubters who took the prior failure of his SPAC to execute the 10% purchase as some kind of ill omen.

BOSS MONEY: The question of valuation is also naturally percolating around buzz that Bruce Springsteen is poised to make a new deal with Sony for his catalog.

The rumored pact looks to be yet another example of the insatiable hunger for music assets in the marketplace and further evidence of Sony’s aggressive stance in the wake of fat deals for Paul Simon and AC/DC.

RESERVOIR DOGGED: Reservoir’s recent IPO misadventure, which involved a SPAC play and the rapid loss of some 35% of its market cap, proves once again that all that glitters isn’t gold—and that even at the height of the catalog rush, a windfall is never guaranteed. What will founder/CEO Golnar Khosrowshahi and team do next?