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Sony Sells 17.2% Of Its Spotify Shares, Netting $260.5 Million

AP Photo/Richard Drew
A trading post sports the Spotify logo on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange April 3, 2018.

Sony Corp. said it has sold 17.2 percent, or 1,748,304, of its 10,164,560 Spotify shares yesterday. At the closing price of $149.01, that means it netted about $260.5 million. The disclosure of Sony's stock sale came out in a filing the company made to the SEC today. Before trading, previous financial disclosure showed that sony had 5.707 percent of Spotify's 178.11 million outstanding shares.

Beyond that, the company also disclosed it is booking an unrealized gain, comprised of the 8,416,256 shares it continues to hold and the realized gain from the 1,748,304 shares it sold of 105 billion yen, which translates into a total of $988.987 million, based on the average exchange rates for April 3, according to the oanda.com website. That means that Sony expects to record a gain of $97.30 a share in its next earnings report for all of the shares it held before trading began on the Spotify stock yesterday.

According to the filing, "its unrealized valuation gain (net) and the realized gain on the sale of shares (net) are calculated by deducting the estimated amount to be shared or the amount actually shared with such artists and distributed labels."

That means the $97.30 gain is solely to Sony, and was calculated after the company made royalty payments to artists and indie labels. Spotify's closing price of $149.10, at first glance, seems to imply that $51.80 per share will be paid out in royalties to artists and indie labels, but this is probably an incorrect assumption to make, unless Sony was carrying the shares on the book previously at zero dollars.

So in order to figure out how much is going out in royalties, one would have to know what Sony was carrying the Spotify stock at on its books before the digital services shares began trading. If it was carried at, say $20 a share previously, that could mean that Sony artists and indie labels would be realizing $31.80 per share in payments. Sony didn't immediately comment on what pricing it had previously recorded Spotify's stock at on its books.