Universal Music Said to Plan Sale of Three Music Catalogs

Vivendi SA (VIV)’s Universal Music Group plans to sell three music-publishing catalogs ahead of its EMI acquisition, said a person with knowledge of the situation.

Universal Music hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch (MER) to sell classical, Christian and German schlager catalogs, said the person, who wasn’t authorized to talk publicly. A sale may raise as much as $200 million, the person said.

Universal Music, the world’s biggest record company, said in November it would sell non-strategic assets to help finance its $1.9 billion acquisition of EMI’s recorded music business from Citigroup Inc. Universal Music also plans to sell real estate holdings in France and Germany that are leased to other companies, the person said.

Representative for Universal and Vivendi couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

The music catalogs have drawn 12 bidders including KKR & Co.-controlled BMG Rights Management, according to The Financial Times, which reported the decision earlier today.

Vivendi today rose 0.3 percent to 14.06 euros in Paris trading at 9:44 a.m. The stock has declined 17 percent this year. Universal Music, based in Santa Monica, California, is seeking U.S. and European approvals to complete its EMI acquisition

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