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By Anthony Shevlin
-Vivendi and Tencent enter preliminary talks for a 10% stake in Universal Music Group.
-Tencent would have a one-year call option to acquire an additional 10% stake at the same price and terms.
-Vivendi originally said last July it was considering selling up to 50% of UMG but ruled out an IPO.
Vivendi SA (VIV.FR) said Tuesday that it has entered into preliminary negotiations with Tencent Holdings Ltd. (0700.HK) for a 10% stake in Universal Music Group.
The French media company said UMG has a preliminary equity valuation of 30 billion euros ($33.50 billion) on a fully-diluted basis.
Tencent would have a one-year call option to acquire an additional 10% stake at the same price and terms.
"Vivendi is keen to explore enhanced cooperation which could help UMG capture growth opportunities offered by the digitalization and the opening of new markets," the company said, adding that it targets value creation for both itself and Tencent via the partnership.
The transaction is subject to due diligence and Vivendi plans to continue the process for the sale of an additional minority stake in UMG to other potential partners.
Vivendi originally said in July last year that it was considering selling up to 50% of UMG but ruled out an initial public offering. Back then, the company said the move would likely be launched in the fall and could be completed within the next 18 months.
In November the company said the process of selling a stake in UMG was "on track" and expected the deal to be cash only.
Last month Vivendi said its first-half net profit more than tripled on year, boosted by the growth of its Universal Music Group business. The company said the process of opening up UMG's share capital was progressing and several contacts had been established with potential strategic partners.
Write to Anthony Shevlin at email@example.com; @anthony_shevlin
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 06, 2019 03:11 ET (07:11 GMT)
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