By MICHELLE CHAPMAN
Billionaire Bill Ackman is pulling out of a deal announced last month that would have given him a 10% stake in Universal Music Group, the label that houses Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Lady Gaga and the Beatles.
In a letter to shareholders of his investment fund, Pershing Square on Monday, Ackman cited questions from the Securities and Exchange Commission on whether the structure of a special purpose acquisition company would allow such an acquisition in under the rules of the New York Stock Exchange.
Vivendi SA last month as its Universal Music group was in talks to sell a 10% stake to Pershing’s specialist acquisition company, or SPAC, in a deal that would value the record company at around $ 40 billion. of dollars. The 10% stake would have cost around $ 4 billion.
An SPAC is typically a group of larger investors who raise funds for acquisitions and then seek acquisition targets. The deal Ackman announced last month was unique because unlike a rush of PSPCs that were deployed this year, the intention was not to merge with Universal, but to take a stake in the company that had previously announced its intention to go public.
On Monday, Vivendi Vivendi said it had instead approved the acquisition of no less than 10% of Universal by funds associated with Ackman.
Ackman’s SPAC, known as Pershing Square Tontine Holdings Ltd., now has 18 months to complete a new transaction, unless shareholders vote for an extension. Ackman said that due to the experience gained with the proposed Universal Music transaction, his next business combination would be structured as a conventional PSPC merger.