July 30, 2018 / 4:13 PM / in 3 months

Vivendi considers selling up to 50 pct of booming UMG music arm

PARIS, July 30 (Reuters) - Vivendi is considering selling up to 50 percent of its UMG music division to one or more strategic partners, ending months-long speculation about a potential stock market listing of the unit, which has been experiencing a boom in business.

Pressure had been mounting on Vivendi in the last few months to update investors about its plans for Universal Music Group (UMG), the world’s biggest music label, as the recent listing of streaming platform Spotify had given a lift to the division’s value and that of its parent company.

The transaction is likely to be launched this autumn and could be completed in the next 18 months, said Vivendi, which added that it was also in talks over the possible acquisition of French publishing company Editis.

Vivendi reported that first-half core operating profits had jumped by 32 percent, based on constant currency rates and business perimeters, to 542 million euros ($635 million), beating the average estimate in a Reuters poll of 513 million.

Revenues over the period were up by 4 percent from a year ago to 6.46 billion euros.

$1 = 0.8535 euros Reporting by Mathieu Rosemain; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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