Vivendi Reiterates Universal Music Is Not For Sale
March 23, 2015 at 6:37 AM (PT)
VIVENDI has issued a statement in reaction to a press report about a potential challenge to its strategy from U.S. hedge fund PSAM reaffirming that its UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP unit is not for sale and that the company was set on creating a global industrial content and media group, reports REUTERS.
"The press today cites the request from an activist AMERICAN HEDGE FUND, P. SCHOENFELD ASSET MANAGEMENT (PSAM), which owns slightly less than 1% of the share capital, to increase the dividend to be paid to shareholders," the statement said. "In fact, the VIVENDI Management Board confirms it received a letter on the 22nd DECEMBER last year from PSAM, asking for the sale of UNIVERSAL MUSIC GROUP (UMG)."
The statement continued, "ARNAUD DE PUYFONTAINE, Chairman of the Management Board, has made it clear on several occasions, and notably at a conference in LONDON on 17th MARCH, that UMG is not for sale and, along with CANAL+ GROUP, constitute the strategic pillars in the building of a major industrial media and content group. Today PSAM appears to be submitting new requests which will be examined by the Management Board. The VIVENDI Management Board also wishes to stress that the majority of shareholders met recently are satisfied with the medium term strategy enabling the Group to create value through an ambitious internal and external development plan. The return to shareholders is intended to amount to 5.7 billion euros, which seems well balanced, keeping the 1 euro dividend for a period of three years and a potential share buy-back of 2.7 billion euros at a maximum share price of 20 euros."
VIVENDI added, "The Management Board opposes the dismantling of VIVENDI and reaffirms its desire to build a PARIS-based, global industrial content and media group."