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Lucian Grainge

Revenue Tops €7Bn for UMG In 2019 As Vivendi Weighs The Sale Of Additional Minority Stakes, Talks IPO For The Label

UMG's Sir Lucian Grainge. Courtesy Image.
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PARIS, France (CelebrityAccess) — Universal Music Group’s parent company Vivendi released the company’s 2019 earnings report, revealing its quite a good time to be in the record business.

According to Vivendi, UMG’s revenues were up by %14 percent at constant currency from 2018, topping €7.1 billion (7.6 billion USD).

Revenue from UMG’s recorded music business grew by 1.6% at constant currency, driven largely by growth in subscription and streaming revenue, as well as “release-driven” improvement in physical sales, which were up by 3.1% in 2019.

UMG touted its new release lineup for the year, which included chart-toppers by Billie Eilish, Post Malone, Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande and the Japanese band King & Prince, as well as continued sales of the soundtrack from A Star Is Born, The Beatles 50th anniversary release of Abbey Road and multiple albums from Queen.

Unsurprisingly, music publishing saw revenue growth as well. According to Vivendi, revenue for the music publishing division was up by 9.2%, also primarily boosted by streaming.

As part of their financial statements, Vivendi provided additional guidance on the proposed $33.6bn sale of a ten percent stake in the label giant to Chinese e-commerce and music streaming company Tencent.

Vivendi says it expects the transaction to complete by the end of the first half of 2020 and that it has secured approval for the Tencent deal from the relevant regulatory authorities.

In the financial filing, Vivendi also revealed they are engaged in ongoing negotiations over the sale of additional minority interests in UMG, which they estimate has a minimum value of $30 billion. The company did not disclose who it was in negotiation with for the additional minority interests.

As well, Vivendi announced plans to take the UMG public in an initial public offering that’s penciled in for 2023.

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