Jay Z's $56 Million Bid for Aspiro Undervalues Company, Say Shareholders
Aspiro announced the takeover offer (for 464 million Swedish krona) on Jan. 30 and it was immediately accepted, pending shareholder approval. Aspiro is the parent company of two music streaming services, WiMP and TIDAL, and its proposed acquisition is seen as Jay Z's entry into the crowded subscription market.
In a statement, (h/t Digital Music News) the Aspiro Shareholders Association argues that the offer may not reflect the level of investments made in the company in the last year, including expansions into the United States. The company made $35 million in 2014. Shareholders also cite a lack of information from Aspiro for their reluctance to take a final position on the bid, made via Project Panther Bidco, a subsidiary of Jay Z's S. Carter Enterprises.
"A consistent view of all registered shareholders is that they believe that the bid is bad and not sufficiently value the company's potential," the statement reads. "Especially given the extensive investments and launches conducted during the fall of 2014 in 5 countries including USA and England. In addition launches are planned in a further 20 countries in Q1 2015. The purchase includes Aspiro cash 63.5 million (December 31, 2014) and significant value of tax loss (which were not reported)."
The statement continues, "Shareholders in the minority have loyally contributed to the financing of Aspiro up to today's level. The offer provides no premium for this, which feels very unsatisfactory."
Aspiro's last financial filing lists WiMP, launched in 2011, as having 512,000 paying subscribers. TIDAL, a premium service geared towards audiophiles, calls itself the "first music streaming service that combines the best High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos and expertly Curated Editorial."