Chinese internet giant Tencent is in talks to acquire a stake in Univeral Music Group, both companies have confirmed. Earlier this year, UMG parent Vivendi announced plans to sell as much as 50% of the world's biggest music group.
Under the proposed deal, Tencent would first acquire a 10% stake in UMG with a one year option to purchase another 10% under the same terms. Negotiations are being based on a valuation of UMG of $33.6 billion, making the cost of Tencent’s 10% about $3.36 billion. Tencent is best known for its successes in gaming and social networking including China’s hugely popular WeChat, which has 900 million active daily users. It's Tencent Music Entertainment Group raised $1 billion in an IPO late last year at a valuation of more than $21 billion. Thanks to a stock swap, Tencent also owns 7.5% of Spotify, making it one of the streamer's top shareholders.
"This is an exciting development for both Vivendi and UMG and affirms once again just how much our strategy and hard work are succeeding,” UMG CEO and Chairman Lucian Grainge wrote in a letter to staff on Tuesday. “As Vivendi discussed last week with its investors, we continue to deliver remarkable, record-setting results. Our success is driven by placing our recording artists and songwriters at the center of everything we do and providing them with the industry’s best creative and commercial resources on a global basis."