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騰訊有意收購環球音樂一成股權

騰訊有意收購環球音樂集團10%股權,后者旗下擁有泰勒·斯威夫特、U2、德雷克等多位知名藝人。

圖片來源:Dimitrios Kambouris–Getty Images for TIME

據報道,騰訊控股有限公司計劃從法國維旺迪集團手中收購環球音樂集團(UMG)10%的股份,并幫助其開拓正在快速增長的亞洲市場。UMG也是全球最大的音樂公司,在此交易中,該公司的估值預計為340億美元。

對于維旺迪這個法國媒體業巨頭來說,UMG是它最成功的業務,而能夠與騰訊這家中國最有價值的公司談判,必然會對其尋找新的合作伙伴提供不少信心。不過這筆交易也給全球最大的音樂市場——美國敲了一記警種,尤其是在當前中美貿易摩擦不斷加劇的背景下。

音樂流媒體訂閱服務的興起,讓西方國家的一些大牌唱片公司重新獲得了生機。UMG目前也正在謀求進一步的增長。維旺迪集團表示,該公司正在與騰訊商討合作事宜,并且希望在騰訊的幫助下,將UMG旗下的藝人面向亞洲進行推廣——比如德雷克、泰勒·斯威夫特和U2樂隊等等,同時該公司也希望在這些國家挖掘音樂人才。

彭博社駐香港情報分析師凌煒森表示:“騰訊作為一個合作伙伴,能夠提升UMG的價值,因為它提供了一個進入中國市場的渠道。” 凌煒森還表示,如果換成一家純粹的金融投資商收購UMG,維旺迪的要價可能會更高。目前騰訊和維旺迪正在就交易進行商談,對UMG的最終估值可能在300億歐元(約340億美元)左右。

上周二早盤,維旺迪的股價上漲了9%,截至巴黎時間12時20分,該股的漲幅為6.6%,股價升至25.6歐元。

貿易摩擦

據兩名了解兩家公司談判情況的人士稱,維旺迪集團認為,雖然中美在各領域有貿易摩擦,但美國有關部門阻礙這筆交易的可能性極低,畢竟目前騰訊有意收購的股價只有10%。維旺迪集團在上周二的一份聲明中表示,按照相同條件,騰訊在UMG的持股可能在一年內就會翻倍。

作為一家法國公司,維旺迪一直難以吸引私募界的興趣。彭博社今年5月報道稱,維旺迪瞄準了包括騰訊在內的幾個戰略買家。而該公司與騰訊的初步談判,很可能也會激起另外幾個潛在合作伙伴的興趣。

流媒體服務的興起,使音樂行業從非法下載和CD銷量暴跌造成的低迷中逐漸復蘇。UMG目前為維旺迪貢獻了大約44%的收入。今年上半年,UMG的銷售額上漲了19%左右,這主要得益于17歲的女歌手比利·艾莉什和日本樂隊King & Prince等藝人發行的新專輯。

戰略

作為中國最大的社交媒體公司,騰訊也在流媒體領域投入頗多。去年,騰訊旗下的騰訊音樂娛樂集團單獨掛牌上市。它在中國的增長模式,與Spotify Technology SA公司在美國和歐洲的增長模式如出一轍。

Spotify嚴重依賴付費訂閱,不過去年,騰訊音樂有71%的收入來自于“社交娛樂”,即在線音樂直播和藝人訪談節目。根據雙方2017年達成的一項合作協議,騰訊娛樂已經開始在中國開展UMG旗下音樂的推廣和營銷了。

新加坡Aequitas Research公司的分析師蘇米特·辛格認為:“持有UMG的一部分股份,使騰訊確保了UMG的內容始終能夠在騰訊音樂,甚至是Spotify上播放——騰訊也擁有Spotify的一部分股權。”

UMG的增長也幫助維旺迪抵消了其他業務的疲軟表現。上周一收盤時,維旺迪的市值為292億歐元,還不到騰訊對UMG的初步意向收購價(300億歐元)。除UMG外,維旺迪旗下還有廣告集團Havas SA、廣播公司Canal Plus等業務。

彭博新聞看到的一份備忘錄顯示,UMG的首席執行官盧西恩·格蘭杰曾經對員工表示,維旺迪的董事會及其最大股東——法國億萬富翁文森特·博洛雷“將繼續堅定支持我們的戰略、我們的工作和我們的團隊”。這番話也獲得了UMG的一名發言人的證實。(財富中文網)

譯者:樸成奎

Tencent Holdings Ltd. plans to buy 10% of Universal Music Group from Vivendi SA in a deal that would value the world’s biggest music company at $34 billion and help it tap fast-growing Asian markets.

The discussions with China’s most valuable company will reinvigorate the French media giant’s efforts to find new partners for its most successful business. But they may also sound alarms in the U.S., the world’s biggest music market, amid a deepening trade war with China.

A surge in subscription music streaming has revived the fortunes of big music labels in Western markets, and Universal is now looking for further growth. Vivendi said it’s discussing cooperation with Tencent and wants the Chinese company to promote Universal’s stable of artists—including Drake, Taylor Swift and U2—and identify talent in new markets.

“Tencent as a partner will boost UMG’s value because of the access it provides in China,” said Vey-Sern Ling, a Bloomberg Intelligence analyst based in Hong Kong. A purely financial investor may have to pay more than Tencent would pay for its stake, Ling said. The companies are discussing a deal that would value all of Universal Music at 30 billion euros ($34 billion).

Vivendi shares rose as much as 9% in early trading last Tuesday and were up 6.6% at 25.6 euros as of 12:20 p.m. in Paris.

Trade tension

Vivendi sees little risk that the U.S. authorities could block the deal as part of Washington’s wider trade conflict with Beijing, because the Tencent stake is limited to 10% for now, two people with knowledge of the companies’ discussions said. In its statement last Tuesday, Vivendi said Tencent could double its holding on the same terms within one year.

The French company has struggled to draw interest from private-equity firms, and Bloomberg reported in May that Vivendi was targeting strategic buyers including Tencent. The preliminary discussions with the Chinese company are likely to stir interest from other potential partners.

Streaming is helping the music industry recover from a slump caused by illegal downloading and a collapse in CD sales. Universal Music now contributes around 44% of Vivendi’s revenue. Universal Music’s sales rose by around 19% in the first half, helped by releases from artists including the 17-year-old singer Billie Eilish and the Japanese band King & Prince.

The strategy

Tencent, China’s largest social-media company, is also big in streaming. Last year it floated its Tencent Music Entertainment Group, whose growth in China mirrors that of Spotify Technology SA in the U.S. and Europe.

While Spotify relies heavily on paid subscriptions, last year Tencent Music generated 71% of its revenue from a category called “social entertainment”—things like online live music and interviews with celebrities. Tencent already works with Universal Music on distribution and marketing in China under a cooperation deal sealed in 2017.

“Having a toe-hold in Universal would allow Tencent to ensure Universal’s content is always available to TME and even to Spotify, in which Tencent owns a stake,” said Sumeet Singh, an analyst with Singapore-based Aequitas Research.

Universal Music’s growth has helped offset a weaker performance at Vivendi’s other businesses. The company’s market value at last Monday’s close was 29.2 billion euros, less than the music unit’s equity value of 30 billion euros implied by the Tencent deal. Other Vivendi units include Havas SA, an advertising group, and the broadcaster Canal Plus.

Vivendi’s board and its biggest shareholder, French billionaire Vincent Bollore, “continue to be steadfast supporters of our strategy, our work and our teams,” Universal Music’s Chief Executive Officer Lucian Grainge told staff in a memo seen by Bloomberg News and confirmed by a company spokesman.

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