British music mogul Sir Lucian Grainge is ready for a £100m windfall as Universal floats in Amsterdam
The British boss of Universal Music Group is poised to bag a bonus of more than £100m as the company floats on the stock market.
Music mogul Sir Lucian Grainge will bring in around £104 million if he makes it listed in Amsterdam this month, according to documents published yesterday.
This is in addition to a salary package worth up to £30.4 million.
High notes: Sir Lucian Grainge (pictured with singer Taylor Swift) will bring in around £104 million if he makes the Amsterdam listing. This is in addition to a salary package worth up to £30.4 million
Grainge was handed £15million last February after orchestrating the 20 percent sale of Universal to a group of investors led by Chinese internet giant Tencent, and will bag a similar bonus this month after selling 10 percent to Pershing. Square, the hedge fund led by American billionaire Bill Ackman.
And he will benefit from a long-term bonus plan, which the company has yet to decide. Universal also disclosed that Grainge is “entitled to use a car, with driver, for business and reasonable private use.”
The Investor Prospectus added: ‘Sir Lucian will be allowed the use of a chartered or private aircraft for business purposes, subject to prior approval being required for such use in excess of €410,000 per year.’
Grainge, 61, has spent his entire career in the music industry, working with stars from Amy Winehouse to the Rolling Stones.
He joined Universal in 1986 and helped launch the record label Polygram, which became one of the top three music publishers in the UK in just five years.
By 2011, the Londoner, who now lives in Los Angeles with his wife Caroline, had worked his way up to chairman and chief executive.
In his first year in charge, he orchestrated the rescue of beleaguered music giant EMI from the bruises of the period under the ownership of private equity firm Terra Firma.
Now Universal, whose roots go back to 1934, provides music from the likes of Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish and Take That.
The company, which has been largely owned by French media giant Vivendi since 2000, will go public next week in Amsterdam with an estimated value of £28 billion.
Vivendi’s main shareholder, Vincent Bollore, will be left with about £5 billion worth of Universal shares, as it distributes about 60 percent of Universal shares to its own investors.
Vivendi has been under pressure to divest Universal for several years, as analysts said the music business was worth more than Vivendi’s stock price suggested.
The initial public offering (IPO) has now sparked speculation about what Bollore and Vivendi will do with the windfall.
The deal will also be a healthy reward for Pershing Square, whose 10 percent stake in Universal will be worth around £2.8 billion. The consortium led by Tencent will retain its 20 per cent stake valued at £5.6 billion.
Last year Universal had a turnover of £6.3bn and a profit of £1.2bn.
It now earns its money from royalty sources, including digital downloads and streaming, the sale of CDs or vinyl records, performing live, and using its music in TV shows or advertisements.
In the early 2000s, record labels struggled as they lost money to digital piracy — but streaming services like Spotify and YouTube have changed the game as consumers are willing to pay to access songs.
Following EMI’s acquisition, which brought artists such as the Beatles, Katy Perry and Robbie Williams under the Universal umbrella, the company bought catalogs from a number of other artists – and under Grainge’s supervision, the value has risen from £4 billion to £28 billion.