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The Japanese phone carrier’s offer, which a source told The Times came about three months ago, was roughly $2 billion above what some analysts estimate Universal Music Group’s value to be. The Financial Times previously reported the news. Reps for Vivendi and Universal declined the Times’ request for comment.
Universal is the largest music company in the world and last year saw $6 billion in revenue, and $694 million in earnings before interest, taxes and amortization.
Shareholders have pressured Vivendi to sell assets or split. Its media divisions include Universal, Activision Blizzard and film and television company Canal Plus Group. Vivendi recently canceled the sale of its Brazilian telecommunications unit GVT, citing failure to find a price it was satisfied with. It is currently selling its majority share of Maroc Telecom to Emirates Telecommunications.
The offer for Universal Music Group comes as hedge fund manager Daniel Loeb continues to urge Sony to sell its entertainment arm, including Sony Music, Universal’s largest competitor.
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