Vivendi looking to offload a possible 20% stake in Universal Music Group to Chinese tech giant Tencent

French conglomerate and owner of the Havas Group Vivendi has announced that it has entered into preliminary negotiations with China’s Tencent Holdings to offload a 10% stake in Universal Music Group. Tencent has an option of acquiring an additional 10% at the same price and terms in a year.

The label represents artists like Taylor Swift, Lana Del Rey and Lady Gaga, besides having a historic catalogue that includes Nirvana and Bob Marley, among many others.

A release from the French conglomerate said: “Vivendi is keen to explore enhanced cooperation which could help UMG capture growth opportunities offered by the digitalisation and the opening of new markets.

“Together with Tencent, Vivendi hopes to improve the promotion of UMG’s artists, with whom UMG has created the greatest catalogue of recordings and songs ever, as well as identify and promote new talents in new markets. 

“Vivendi hopes that this new strategic partnership could create value for both Tencent and UMG.”

 Mumbrella has approached Tencent for a comment on the development.

A Chinese technology conglomerate, Tencent owns WeChat and publishes the popular multiplayer game PubG. It was ranked eight in the recently published list of Top 100 Global Brands in Kantar’s BrandZ study. 

It was reported to be in talks along with fellow Chinese conglomerate Alibaba to buy a 20% stake in WPP’s China operations last year.


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