May 27, 2021
Sir Lucian Grainge is clearly a master at solving professional challenges whenever they arise. But even he’s going to struggle to get all of Universal Music Group‘s institutional owners on a single Zoom call pretty soon: the time zones are going to play havoc.
This morning (June 4) we learned that Bill Ackman’s New York-based SPAC, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (PSTH), is set to buy 10% of UMG from Vivendi in a $4bn transaction.
This won’t result in UMG merging in any way with PTSH. Indeed, Vivendi is still pushing ahead with its plan to spin out 60% of Universal on the Amsterdam stock exchange before the end of September.
Instead, if the PSTH deal and Amsterdam float both go through as intended, it will mean UMG ends up being owned thusly: 10% by US-based PSTH; 10% by France-based Vivendi; 20% by a consortium led by China-based Tencent; and 60% publicly traded in Europe.
Talk about a global music business!
New York-based Pershing Square Tontine Holdings (PSTH) has this morning (June 4) confirmed it’s in discussions to acquire 10% of Universal Music Group for approximately $4 billion.
NYSE-listed PSTH is a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) affiliated with Pershing Square Holdings, and is led by billionaire CEO Bill Ackman.
Pershing Square and Vivendi both confirm that the proposed transaction would represent an enterprise value for UMG of €35 billion ($42.4 billion at current exchange rates).
According to reports in both Bloomberg and Reuters this morning (June 4), Believe has already attracted enough investor demand to cover the entirety of the order book for its IPO’s 15,384,616 initial share issue. It did so within the space of just three working days, following its Tuesday morning announcement.
Not only that, Believe has also secured maxed-out demand for a ‘greenshoe’ allocation of additional shares, worth 10% of its initial issue.
In other words, it’s a safe bet that Believe has locked in IPO share sale orders that will raise the €300 million it wanted, plus 10% more (i.e. €330 million in total).
New York-based music rights company Reservoir has acquired legendary US record label and music publishing company Tommy Boy Music LLC in a deal valued at approximately $100 million.
Founded in New York in 1981 by Tom Silverman, Tommy Boy helped launch the careers of Queen Latifah, Afrika Bambaataa, Digital Underground, Coolio, De La Soul, House of Pain and Naughty By Nature, among others.
According to a media release states that Reservoir’s deal to buy Tommy Boy comprises 6,000+ masters including Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise, House of Pain’s Jump Around, and Afrika Bambaataa & The Soulsonic Force’s Planet Rock.
Lyor Cohen has his eye on Spotify‘s throne.
On Wednesday (June 2), Cohen – YouTube‘s Global Head of Music – revealed that YouTube paid the music industry over $4 billion in the previous 12 months via the “twin engines” of advertising and subscription revenue.
Cohen also stated that his platform’s aim is “to become the leading revenue generator for the music industry”. That would mean overtaking Spotify’s annual royalty payments, which in 2020 surpassed $5 billion.
Yesterday (June 3), Cohen laid down the gauntlet to Daniel Ek and co once again.
Amazon-owned live streaming platform Twitch told its users last Friday (May 28) that it’s been sent a “batch” of new copyright infringement claims from music publishers.
The company sent out an email stating that these new DMCA takedown notifications include “about 1,000 individual claims” over the use of copyrighted music played in the background of recorded VODs (on-demand videos).
In the email sent to users on Friday, shared by journalist Rod Breslau on Twitter, Twitch stated that “this is our first such contact from the music publishing industry”.
It added: “[We] are disappointed that they decided to send takedowns when we were willing and ready to speak to them about solutions”.