Tencent Music and KKR running to acquire UMG
According to Reuters' sources, investment fund KKR and Chinese music-streaming giant Tencent Music are preparing rival bids to acquire up to half of Universal Music Group, as part of parent company Vivendi’s planned sell-off.
KKR has history in this kind of thing: it was a backer of BMG before selling its stake back to Bertelsmann in 2013. KKR also planned to invest $150m in music-streaming service Pandora in 2017, before the latter company opted for a $480m investment from Sirius XM (which later moved to buy the entire company) instead.
Reuters further reports that UMG parent Vivendi is in the process of selecting banks to assist in the partial sale of the music company. These banking partners are expected to be appointed in March, with a sale process kicking off in Q2.
However, it appears early-stage, informal discussions about a sale are already underway with potentially interested parties.