Bill Ackman's Pershing drops deal for Vivendi's Universal Music Group


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of Vivendi is pictured at the main entrance of the entertainment-to-telecoms conglomerate headquarters in Paris, France, April 22, 2021. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

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PARIS (Reuters) – Billionaire investor William Ackman’s Pershing Square (NYSE:) Tontine Holdings has dropped a deal to buy 10% of Vivendi (PA:)’s Universal Music Group (UMG), the label that is home to musicians such as Taylor Swift.

Pershing said in a statement its decision was prompted by issues raised by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about whether the deal met New York stock exchange rules.

“Management and the board believe that greater shareholder value can be created by working expeditiously to identify a new merger partner,” Ackman’s Pershing vehicle said.

The company said it would pay out indemnity costs as a result of its decision to withdraw from the deal.

Vivendi, controlled by French billionaire Vincent Bollore, is planning to cash in on its UMG crown jewel by spinning off the entity to existing shareholders.

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