Universal Music to make stock market debut

Universal Music Group has a catalogue of four million songs. AFP/Valerie Macon

PARIS - Universal Music Group, the world's biggest label whose lineup features The Beatles, Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift, is set for a huge stock market debut on Tuesday.

The company is based in the US but owned by French media conglomerate Vivendi, which is offloading a majority stake of the lucrative unit on Amsterdam's Euronext index.

UMG's floating price will be announced later Monday by Euronext, but Vivendi has so far signalled a 33-billion-euro valuation, at 18 euros per share.

Vivendi is owned by French billionaire Vincent Bollore, who has positioned himself as a powerful right-wing media baron in recent years. 

Although Vivendi will retain a chunk of Universal Music, it is looking to focus more on TV, advertising and publishing. 

Universal Music, like its rivals Warner and Sony, was once threatened by music piracy but profits have soared in the age of streaming.

It is home to the world's biggest music stars, from Lady Gaga to Kanye West to Metallica.

Last year the group bought Bob Dylan's entire song catalogue for $300-million, one of the biggest acquisitions in music history.


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