Koers Universal, record label behind Rihanna, through the roof in Amsterdam

The French Vivendi owned 70 percent of the shares of Universal Music Group (UMG). It keeps 10 percent of that, the remaining 60 percent puts it on the stock exchange. This is done by giving the shareholders of Vivendi shares in UMG. They can then sell the shares.

If they do sell today, then the day has started well for them. The price of UMG is 38 percent higher than the reference price (which was supposed to be an indication of the value of the share) that Euronext Amsterdam issued. UMG is now worth approximately 45 billion euros. That is comparable to ING.

‘Worth more’

UMG is going public because Vivendi shareholders have been pushing for years to do so. They think UMG is worth more on its own than as part of Vivendi.

In addition to Vivendi, the Chinese Tencent (20 percent) and the American Bill Ackman (10 percent) own UMG.

Justin Bieber and Bob Marley

In addition to Rihanna, Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga, UMG also includes Justin Bieber, Gregory Porter, Ariana Grande, Bon Jovi, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd and Lana del Rey.

The company also owns the rights to the songs of Bob Marley, Amy Winehouse, ABBA, Queen and Marvin Gaye, among others.

Philips and PolyGram

The roots of UMG partly lie in the Netherlands, namely with the record company that Philips once had with labels such as Decca and Phonogram.

Later that company became PolyGram and it had a separate stock exchange listing in Amsterdam for a while in the 1990s. Later, PolyGram was acquired and eventually became part of UMG.

Good for Amsterdam stock exchange

The fact that UMG opted for an IPO in Amsterdam is another boost for the Amsterdam stock exchange. It is the 14th IPO this year. Like other exchanges in Europe, Euronext Amsterdam will benefit from Brexit. As a result, the London stock exchange has become less attractive to investors.

Earlier this year, stock trading in the Netherlands exceeded that in London for the first time. Later, London overtook Amsterdam, but in August Amsterdam was bigger again.

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