Timothy Xu said of his new role at UMG: “I am delighted to join Universal Music Group as Chairman & CEO of Greater China as we look to further establish the company as a dynamic and innovative leader in China’s music ecosystem.
Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group said, “I am thrilled to welcome Timothy to lead our operations in Greater China. He’s a real music exec, given his deep experience generating creative and commercial success in the region.
“I’m confident Timothy be instrumental as we continue to drive growth in the exciting and vibrant Chinese music market.”
According to Universal Music Group’s 2022 annual report for shareholders, published earlier this year, Tencent Music Entertainment (TME) was originally granted a call option to acquire up to 25% of the holding company that controls UMG’s Greater China operations.
However, more recently, as the exercise period on that agreement was due to expire, this call option was amended in two ways:
(i) Tencent Holdings, the majority-owner of TME, replaced TME as the counterparty on the call option; and
(ii) Tencent Holdings secured the option to acquire a smaller stake – up to 12.5% – in the holding company.
The UMG annual report for 2022 further confirmed that Tencent Holdings had 24 months from the date of being granted this new agreement to exercise the amended call option.
A Tencent-led consortium, Concerto Partners LLC, today owns around 20% of Universal Music Group N.V, which is listed on the Amsterdam Euronext stock exchange. The Tencent consortium acquired that 20% stake over two stages, in 2020 and 2021.
He currently represents China’s music business as Vice-Chairman, China Music Industry Committee (CMIC).
In addition, he is the co-founder and Chairman of China’s Music Industry Committee Music Awards (CMA), Deputy Director of Emerging Music Group Working Committee, China’s Chinese Musicians Association, and a consultant for the Digital Music Working Committee, China Audio-Video and Digital Publishing Association.Music Business Worldwide