Hedge-fund billionaire William Ackman’s special-purpose acquisition company is nearing a transaction with Universal Music Group that would value the world’s largest music business at about $40 billion, people familiar with the matter said.

The deal would be the largest SPAC transaction on record, exceeding the roughly $35 billion that Singaporean ride-hailing company Grab Holdings Inc. was valued at in a similar deal recently, according to Dealogic. It would have a so-called enterprise value, taking into consideration Universal’s debt, of about $42 billion.



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