Universal Music to Start Trading With Nearly $40 Billion Market Cap

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   By Mauro Orru 
 

Universal Music Group will have a market capitalization of about 33 billion euros ($38.98 billion) when the world’s largest music company starts trading on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange next Tuesday, its listing prospectus shows.

Universal, home to stars including The Weeknd, Billie Eilish, Post Malone, and Taylor Swift, is set to join its smaller rival Warner Music Group Corp. in the public market, hoping to cash in on a resurgent music industry that has been growing thanks to the rise of streaming services such as Spotify Technology SA and Apple Inc.’s Apple Music.

The listing marks an opportunity for Universal to broaden artist opportunities and increase its appeal both within the industry and among investors, who so far have had to invest in its owner Vivendi SE to get exposure to the record label.

Universal’s listing prospectus indicates the approximately EUR33 billion market capitalization is based on the recent acquisition of a 10% stake by Pershing Square Holdings Ltd., the investment firm controlled by hedge-fund billionaire William Ackman.

Tencent Holdings Ltd. owns about 20% of Universal after the Chinese internet conglomerate doubled its stake last year in a deal that valued the business at about EUR30 billion.

Vivendi, the media conglomerate steered by the family of French billionaire Vincent Bollore that controls 70% of Universal, said Tuesday that the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange should reveal the technical reference price of Universal shares on Sept. 20 after market close.

Vivendi shareholders in June backed plans to distribute 60% of Universal’s shares to existing Vivendi shareholders and to list the company in the Netherlands.

Vivendi will disclose the final distribution ratio–currently expected to be of one Universal share for every eligible Vivendi share held–based on Universal’s opening price on Sept. 21, with settlement of the distribution slated for Sept. 23.

Universal’s entry to the public market comes as the company targets double-digit percentage growth in earnings and revenue this year while the industry continues to benefit from consumers spending more time listening to music, a trend accelerated by the coronavirus pandemic.

 

Write to Mauro Orru at mauro.orru@wsj.com; @MauroOrru94

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 14, 2021 05:52 ET (09:52 GMT)

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