Back in June, Pershing Square Tontine Holdings announced that they would purchase 10 percent of Universal Music Group (UMG) for $4 billion, however the company backed out of the deal the following month. According to Music Business Worldwide, another Pershing Square company named Pershing Square Holdings has stepped in to purchase this stake, acquiring 7.1 percent of UMG for $2.8 billion.
Both Pershing Square Tontine Holdings and Pershing Square Holdings are run by billionaire Bill Ackman, who secured a deal to purchase the remaining 2.9 percent stake of UMG. According to the terms of this agreement, Ackman has until September 9, 2021 to make this purchase, which will come from “funds which he manages or in which he holds the majority of economic interest, based on the same valuation,” according to Vivendi, UMG’s majority-owner.
If Ackman does not acquire the remaining stake, UMG will have until September 21 to find a new stakeholder for the remaining 2.9 percent. If the company does not find one by the aforementioned date, the 2.9 percent stake will be listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange. “Vivendi is very satisfied with the arrival at UMG of Mr. Ackman, a major American investor, providing once again evidence of the music company’s global success and attractiveness,” the company wrote in a statement.
UMG started with an extremely successful year, generating over $1 million per hour in revenue during the first quarter of 2021, while announcing plans to go public this fall. The company also joined Warner Chappell Music, Sony Music Publishing and Capitol Records in a $400 million lawsuit against Charter Communications over alleged copyright infringement.