UMG’s parent company, French conglomerate Vivendi, announced Aug. 31 that Bill Ackman’s investment firm acquired another 2.9% of the company’s share capital for $1.15 billion.
Earlier in August, Pershing Square acquired 7.1% of UMG for $2.8 billion. With the latest transaction, the New York-based hedge fund manager will own 10% of the world’s biggest record label.
UMG’s labels and brands include Decca Records, Def Jam Recordings, and Virgin Music, and its roster of artists includes Kendrick Lamar, Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber. The deal comes ahead of UMG’s plan to go public in September, at which point Vivendi will distribute 60% of the company’s stock to shareholders.
Ackman first announced plans to become a long-term investor in UMG in June through a special purpose acquisition company but withdrew after the Securities and Exchange Commission raised questions about the complexity of the deal.
Ackman remains bullish about the financial opportunities the acquisition will generate for his firm.
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