- Warner Music Group filed for an IPO with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday as streaming services continue to boost the music industry.
- The offering is Warner’s second, as a slew of private-equity firms took the company public in 2005 after buying it from Time Warner the previous year.
- The S-1 filing follows Vivendi selling a 10% stake in Universal to Tencent in late December for €3 billion ($US3.4 billion). The sale established Universal as the world’s largest music company.
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Warner Music Group filed for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday as streaming platforms continue to drive the music industry higher.
The company is the third-largest of the industry’s “big three,” which also includes Sony Music Entertainment and, the biggest firm, Universal Music Group. Warner is currently owned by Access Industries, which took the company private in 2011 for $US3.3 billion.
Before then, a group of private-equity firms purchased the conglomerate from Time Warner in 2004 for $US2.6 billion and took Warner public the following year.
Access’ owner, billionaire Len Blavatnik, will hold voting control of the public company, according to the SEC filing. Warner’s label portfolio includes Atlantic Records, Parlophone, Warner Records, and Spinnin’ Records, among others.
Warner’s S-1 follows Vivendi selling a 10% stake in Universal to Tencent in late December for €3 billion ($US3.4 billion). The purchase valued Universal at over $US33 billion, establishing it as the world’s largest music company.
Warner’s artist lineup includes Janelle Monae, Lizzo, Ed Sheeran, Skrillex, Jason Derulo, and Wu-Tang Clan, among many others.
Streaming services have quickly become the music industry’s leading revenue driver as physical records and CDs slumped through the 2000s. Label sales have gained an average 7% annually since 2014 as services like Apple Music and Spotify gave labels access to a growing consumer base, according to Bloomberg.
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