Platekompaniet takes owner position in Aspiro AB – WiMP becomes wholly-owned Aspiro-company
Norwegian retail chain Platekompaniet takes an owner position of 6.5% in Aspiro, after the two parties signed an agreement today. Platekompaniet sells its stocks in the Norwegian subsidiary WiMP Music AS, for the holdings in Aspiro AB. Aspiro then assumes total control of the Norwegian WiMP, while Platekompaniet takes the opportunity of participating in Aspiro’s international expansion. The acquisition is financed by a new share issue in Aspiro, equivalent to approximately SEK 16 million.
”Platekompaniet and Aspiro have cooperated closely with WiMP in Norway over the last two years”, says CEO of Platekompaniet Rolf Presthus. ”We have become convinced that streaming is the future way of comsuming music and that WiMP can achieve very good results on many markets. Through taking each music market seriously, and at the same time going for a multi national approach securing economy of scale, we see the opportunity to create the best music service on the market. We have therefore decided to take ownership in Aspiro. Platekompaniet also continues to be an important part of WiMP's editors”, says Presthus.
Under the authorization of the EGM on 10 October, the board of Aspiro has decided on a new share issue of 13,406,901 shares, amounting to some SEK 16 million at today’s stock price.
The new share issue is completed for the use as payment for 60,000 shares, equaling 50 percent of the shares in WiMP Music AS, where Platekompaniet and Aspiro previously owned 50 percent each. As payment for the shares in WiMP Music AS, Platekompaniet takes a holding of 6.5% of the shares in Aspiro AB after the new share issue.
WiMP Music AS will thus become a wholly-owned Aspiro subsidiary. From the closing of the agreement, Aspiro will consolidate the entire net sales and earnings from Norwegian WiMP, instead of half, as previously. Aspiro expects closing of the agreement by 31 October. The acquisition means that Aspiro gains complete control over the music streaming service WiMP in all markets, and will consolidate all sales generated by WiMP.
Aspiro Music posted revenues of some SEK 44.3 m during the first six months of 2011. Had WiMP Music AS been consolidated from 1. January, the sales would have increased by some SEK 12 million. WiMP Music AS sales for January-June was SEK 28.3 m, earnings after direct expenses were SEK 1.5 m and EBITDA amounted to SEK 0.7 m.
”Platekompaniet is the music retail chain with the largest success in Scandinavia. They possess a very strong competence in music and it’s very beneficial for us to have them on our team when expanding into new markets. It is also an operational advantage for Aspiro to gain 100% control over WiMP in all markets, now also in Norway”, says Gunnar Sellæg, CEO of Aspiro.
WiMP is growing rapidly and had at the end of June over 300,000 paying users in four countries, up from 100,000 at year end. 700,000 Norwegian Canal Digital customers can now also get WiMP included in their television subscription. WiMP is available in Norway, Sweden and Denmark, and in Portugal as a white label solution. WiMP focuses on helping users find their way around the vast music library with millions of songs. WiMP was in July elected world's best music service at Meffy Awards in London.
Aspiro reports its interim report for the third quarter on 10. November.
This is information that Aspiro AB (publ) is required to disclose under the Securities Exchange and Clearing Operations Act and or the Act on trading in financial instruments. It was released for publication on October 27 at 08:30 a.m.
Aspiro has unique positioning as the world’s only provider of complete TV and music streaming services for partners that want to put their own branding on the service. Aspiro also provides the music streaming service WiMP directly to consumers on selected markets. Aspiro has over ten years’ experience in mobile technology and retail in northern Europe, and delivers services to partners worldwide like Deutsche Telekom, Telenor, 3, TeliaSonera, the BBC, Entel and Canal Digital. Aspiro is listed on Nasdaq OMX Nordic Exchange Stockholm.
For more information, please contact: Kristin Castillo Eldnes, Head of Corporate communication and IR, Tel: 47 908 07 389, firstname.lastname@example.org or Gunnar Sellæg, CEO, 47 901 81 528, email@example.com