Vivendi Split Could Have Little Impact On Universal Music (Analysis)

While shareholders and the business media regard as big news the Vivendi announcement that it will study a demerger plan and that activist shareholder Vincent Bollore has been appointed vice chairman of the company's supervisory board, the moves are expected to have little impact on the Universal Music Group.

Vivendi had already announced it was focusing on its entertainment media assets including the Canal Plus TV company and Universal Music Group. All this announcement does is place those medial companies in one group and the SFR telecom provider into another.

Vivendi Considering Splitting Media and Telecom Companies

If the study sees value in dismantling the company, the SFR side is the entity expected to be sold-off, while the entertainment media assets would be retained. In other words, the plan previously announced for the entertainment media assets goes forward as planned.

Besides, the Universal Music Group already proved its value when it commanded an $8.5 billion offer from Softbank, in a bid that valued the company at $2 billion more than the $6.5 billion valuations that Wall Street analysts assigned the company. That higher than expected price for the major validated UMG chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge's leadership, and practically assures that Vivendi management, regardless of who is in charge, will continue to back his strategic vision.

Of course, once Vivendi completes its study and implements an action based on it, then it will be easier to assess if there are new implications  for the Universal Music Group to consider.