Tencent-led consortium will lift stake in Universal Music to 20%

Rita Liao
·1-min read
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 12: (EDITORS NOTE: Image has been digitally manipulated) In this photo illustration the logos of QQ Music, Kugou and Kuwo are seen on the screen of an iPhone in front of a computer screen showing a Tencent Music Entertainment logo on June 12, 2018 in Paris, France. QQ Music, Kugou and Kuwo are the three streaming Chinese music services owned by Tencent. Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME), the largest music streaming platform in China, is preparing what will be one of the largest IPOs ever by a technology company. This IPO, which could take place in the second half of 2018, would be one of the largest transactions of the year and should raise 25 billion dollars. (Photo Illustration by Chesnot/Getty Images)

Tencent is further strengthening its ties with music giant Universal Music Group as it continues to dominate the Chinese music streaming market.

A consortium led by Tencent and comprising Tencent Music Entertainment, the internet giant's music spinoff, is set to buy an additional 10% equity stake in UMG from French media conglomerate Vivendi SA, TME said on Friday.

The round values UMG at €30 billion, or $36.8 billion, and will increase the consortium's stake in the music company to 20%. TME continues to hold a 10% equity interest in the consortium, of which other members are not disclosed.

"The transaction reinforces TME's commitment to strengthening its strategic partnership with UMG. TME looks forward to an ongoing and deeper collaboration with UMG as both companies work together to bring unparalleled service and product offerings to artists and fans in China's booming music entertainment market," the company said.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2021 and is subject to regulatory approvals, TME noted.

In August, TME and UMG said they were launching a joint label to discover, develop and promote Chinese artists domestically and to the world.

Tencent has been pally with all three music label giants, which have been licensing content to the Chinese firm's music-focused apps. Both Warner Music and Sony Music Entertainment bought shares in TME when the latter went public in Hong Kong.

Warner Music's SEC filing earlier this year showed that it had sold a small stake to Tencent. And one should be reminded that Tencent also had a deal with Spotify from 2017 when the two swapped stakes.