Universal Music turns stake sale focus to Tencent

|About: Alibaba Group Holding Limited (BABA)|By:, SA News Editor

In its effort to sell a stake in top music publisher Universal Music Group, Vivendi (VIVHY -4.7%) is reportedly turning its attention to industry investors as private equity loses interest.

That includes a fresh focus on talks with Tencent (TCEHY -3.3%), backer of Tencent Music (TME -2.4%) -- though that timing may not be great, with trade tensions more urgent than in past months.

Private-equity buyers like KKR (KKR -1.6%) have balked at a sale process that seems to drag (Vivendi has been discussing some kind of float or partial sale of UMG for years, and has been talking in earnest about the sale since last summer) as well as the business valuation Vivendi seeks: €25B-€30B, or about $28B-$33B.

And the list of industry bidders isn't long, with major tech firms unlikely to take a passive stake. Still among possible bidders are Liberty Media (NASDAQ:FWONA) and Alibaba (BABA -1.1%).

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