Business News Labels & Publishers

Universal Music IPO now set for 2022

By | Published on Wednesday 21 October 2020

Universal Music

Universal Music owner Vivendi yesterday said that it now plans to IPO its music company in 2022. That announcement came as the French media group confirmed that Universal enjoyed a strong third quarter thanks to the COVID-resistant streaming market.

Vivendi confirmed earlier this year that a previously abandoned plan to list Universal Music on a stock exchange was now back on the agenda. Prior to that, the company had said it was seeking private deals with strategic investors rather than an IPO, a strategy that resulted in the deal at the end of last year with a consortium led by Chinese web giant Tencent.

When putting the IPO back on the agenda in February, Vivendi said it anticipated the stock market listing happening by early 2023 at the latest. Yesterday the deadline was brought forward a little with the 2022 commitment.

Vivendi is seeking to cash in on renewed interest in investment circles in the music rights business caused by the streaming boom. And the good news for Vivendi et al is that the COVID-19 pandemic is having only a limited impact on that music rights business, meaning investor interest remains high.

Third quarter figures for Universal published yesterday confirmed that – while the major did see a slight wobble when the COVID shutdown first began – things got pretty much back to normal in the last three months. Or, at least, the ongoing streaming boom ensured that overall revenues continued to grow – up 3% for the third quarter, 5.1% for the first nine months of 2020 – despite some revenue streams, such as sync and merchandise, being hit by COVID.