Business

TuneCore Owner Believe Begins IPO Process, With Plans to Raise €500M

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Paris-based music distributor and artist services company Believe has gained approval for its registration document with the French financial regulatory body, the company announced Monday (May 10), marking the first step towards its contemplated initial public offering (IPO) on the Euronext Paris stock exchange.

Believe, which acquired New York-based distribution company TuneCore in 2015, now seeks to raise €500 million (nearly $608 million) to finance its growth strategy of building "the leading global artist digital development platform," according to a press release. As the independent music market continues to grow, TuneCore's pitch is that it can provide services to the next generation of artists and create a fairer, more transparent industry for them.

"In the last decade, streaming has changed how people discover music, paving the way for the rise of independent artists and labels. Believe is ideally positioned at the core of this transformation with a unique model to provide solutions best adapted to meet the evolving needs of each independent artist and label, at all levels of development, in the digital world," Believe founder and CEO Denis Ladegaillerie said in a statement.

"This IPO project would enable us to accelerate our development and continue to pursue our profitable growth trajectory," he continued, "while achieving our mission to help build a better, more diverse, more respectful, more transparent and fairer future for all artists."

Founded in Paris in 2005, Believe now operates in more than 50 countries with 1,270 employees. Its services include distribution to major streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music; digital marketing and playlist pitching; sync services and more for worldwide artists like Parcels, Gavin James, FKJ and more.

In 2020, Believe says it provided services to more than 850,000 artists (either directly or through their labels) and recorded €728 million in digital music sales, up 54% from €472 million in 2018.

It recorded €441 million in consolidated revenues in 2020, up from €238 million in 2018, and in the first quarter of 2021, made €124 million in revenue, a 26% uptick from the first quarter of 2020.

That revenue comes from across the world: In 2020, 18% of Believe's consolidated revenue was generated from France, 22% from Germany, 28% from the rest of Europe, 18% from Asia, Oceania and Africa and 14% from the Americas.

With Believe's registration document now approved by French regulator Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), the completion of the IPO is now subject to the approval of "the prospectus relating to the offering by the AMF, as well as favourable market conditions," a press release states.

Citi, J.P. Morgan and Société Générale are acting as joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners in the contemplated IPO; BNP Paribas, Goldman Sachs, HSBC and UBS are acting as joint bookrunners and Rothschild & Co. is acting as independent financial adviser to Believe.