Vivendi Sells Stake in Universal Music Group to Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square

Vivendi has reached a deal with Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square to sell a 10% stake in Universal Music Group, a transaction that values the world’s largest music company at $40 billion.

Vivendi said Sunday that the agreement would be finalized no later than Sept. 15. UMG is headed for an IPO later this year.

Ackman, the hedge fund billionaire, announced nearly a year ago his interest in aligning with a corporation of such size for his SPAC known as Pershing Square Tontine Holdings. The discussions place the valuation of UMG — home to Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and Drake, among many others — at $40 billion. Should the deal close, which would take a few weeks, according to an insider who confirmed the talks were ongoing, the complicated agreement would mark the biggest SPAC transaction to date, per the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the news.

Vivendi had previously announced that UMG would be spun off as a standalone entity to trade on Euronext after Vivendi distributes 60% of UMG to its shareholders by September. Additionally, China’s Tencent acquired 20% of UMG, leaving 20% to Vivendi, to which it was considering selling half, as reported by Variety on May 18.

More to come