Universal Music soars to €47bn on Euronext debut

Shares of Universal Music Group (UMG) soared as much as 36% on their first day of trading on Euronext Amsterdam in the biggest European listing of the year amid the renewed faith of investors in music streaming.

The listing is the latest victory for Euronext in Amsterdam, which has been boosted as a financial centre since the UK left the European Union.

Before Universal, Amsterdam had attracted a record 14 IPOs this year.

The UMG listing followed the earlier announced intention by Vivendi to distribute 60% of UMG shares to Vivendi shareholders.

The reference price of Universal Music Group shares was set at €18.50 per share, resulting in an opening market capitalisation of €33.5 billion.

Universal, the world’s biggest music label, saw its stock market value leap as high as €47 billion on the first day.

UMG is involved with musicians and song catalogues that include The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Billie Eilish, Justin Bieber and The Beatles.

Reuters reported that big winners from the Amsterdam listing include hedge fund billionaire William Ackman and China’s Tencent alongside Vivendi’s controlling shareholder Vincent Bollore, who are retaining large slices of Universal.

Universal chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge will also get bonuses linked to the listing that a source close to the company said would amount to at least $140 million, Reuters reported.

Grainge said: “Today’s listing marks an exciting milestone in UMG’s storied history, reflecting our position as the world’s leading music-based entertainment company and our deep commitment to our amazing artists, songwriters and partners.”

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Dalriada Media LLC sites are edited by veteran news journalist Mark McSherry, a former staff editor and reporter with Reuters, Bloomberg and major newspapers including the South China Morning Post, London's Sunday Times and The Scotsman. McSherry's journalism has also appeared in The Washington Post, The Guardian, The Independent, The New York Times, London's Evening Standard and Forbes. McSherry is also a professor of journalism and communication arts in universities and colleges in New York City. Scottish-born McSherry has an MBA from the University of Edinburgh and a Certificate in Global Affairs from New York University.