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Vivendi sells UMG stake for US$1.149 billion

Vivendi has sold a small stake in Universal Music Group for over US$1 billion.

The French media group, which owns broadcaster Canal+, confirmed the sale of a 2.9% stake to American hedge fund manager Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square. 

The US$1.149 billion sale is based on an enterprise value of US$41.40 billion for Universal Music Group.

This is the second sale of a stake in the music group to Pershing Square, and comes after the company bought a 7.1% stake from Vivendi earlier in August. 

The transaction is set to close by September 9, and comes ahead of the distribution of 60% of UMG’s share capital to Vivendi shareholders scheduled for September 21.

In January, Vivendi sold a 10% stake in UMG to Chinese giant Tencent, bringing the company’s total holding in the music publisher to 20%.

Vivendi has said that it plans to use the funds generated from the UMG deals to reduce its debts and finance share buybacks.

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