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Jay-Z seeks Swedish music service takeover

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Jay-Z seeks Swedish music service takeover
Rapper Jay-Z at an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles on January 16th 2015. Photo: TT
14:38 CET+01:00
Project Panther, an enterprise linked to American hip hop artist Shawn Carter - better known as Jay-Z- is expected to take over Scandinavian-based digital music firm Aspiro, one of Spotify's biggest rivals.
Swedish media technology company Aspiro, best known as the company behind music streaming services WiMP and Tidal, is recommending its shareholders accept a 464 million kronor bid (US $56 million) by Project Panther Bidco, an enterprise indirectly owned by the US rapper’s company S. Carter Enterprises.
 
If sealed, analysts say the deal will set Jay-Z up as the next major digital music mogul, putting him in direct competition with Beats Music, the streaming service co-founded by American hip hop producer Dr Dre, which was bought by Apple in a 24 million kronor deal in 2014.
 
The Project Panther bid offers Aspiro shareholders 1,05 kronor per share, close to 60 percent more than Aspiro shares' closing price on Thursday.
 
It has been unanimously recommended to shareholders by Aspiro’s board of directors, which on Friday published a press release welcoming the offer.
 
“The [Aspiro] Independent Bid Committee is of the opinion that Panther, indirectly owned by SCE and controlled by Shawn Carter, possesses the proprietary relationships, industry knowledge, as well as economic strength and the necessary commitment in order to realize Aspiro’s strategic plan of expanding the Company’s business and brand globally.”
 
The Malmö-registered company began talks with Jay Z’s company in December last year.
 
Norwegian media group Schibsted, which owns 75 percent of Aspiro's shares, has already accepted the offer, and remaining company shareholders will have between February 19th and March 11th this year to accept.
 
WiMP is a direct rival to Spotify in its native Scandinavia. Its service called WiMP HiFi was rebranded as Tidal when it launched in the UK and in the US in October 2014.
 
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