Universal Music Group

Universal Said To Bee Looking At Industry Bidder

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LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) Universal Music Group parent company Vivendi SA is said to be targeting strategtic buyers for a stake in UMG as some private equity investors are stepping away from the negotiating table because of the high price tag and slow talks, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg.

The French company has floated a partial sale or an IPO of Universal for years. It says it will try this July to sell as much as 50 percent of UMG but it hasn’t hired advisers yet after multiple pitches, according to sources.

Vivendi negotiated with Tencent Holdings Ltd., which could help with Universal Music Group expand into China, according to two sources, but could raise some ire stateside. Others are discouraged by the $25 billion asking price.

Vivendi ori8ginally said the sale would be completed in 18 months and announced there would be a final selection in February, then said in April that the deal would be completed “shortly.” Several private equity firms and sovereign wealth funds have3 since tabled their efforts, according to Bloomberg.

“When I think about the UMG deal, I think about the play ‘Waiting for Godot,”’ Macquarie Group Ltd. analyst Giasone Salati said in an email. “Why pre-announce the deal such a long time in advance instead of just doing so once the deal has been agreed upon? Still, maybe it helps the stock price of Vivendi.”

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