China’s Tencent Music Entertainment Takes 5.2% Stake In Warner Music Group

Ed Sheeran

Tencent Music Entertainment Group said Friday it now owns a 5.2% stake in newly public Warner Music Group.                                                              ,

In a SEC filing, the Chinese powerhouse said it had acquired 4 million Class A common shares in the world’s third largest music company. Warner, whose roster includes Cardi B, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and countless others and a massive music publishing business, raised $1.9 billion in a successful initial public offering on the Nasdaq early this month. The IPO was the biggest in the U.S. so far this year.

Warner Music Group shares surge 17% the first day of trading June 3 after it priced the offering at $25 a share. WMG had delayed its IPO from March as the COVID-19 pandemic roiled the stock market and was one of the first to test the waters. The stock was up 1.3% Friday midday at $30.38.

Tencent is the leading online music entertainment platform in China through four mobile music apps — QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music and WeSing – reaching 800 million users. It’s controlled by tech giant Tencent Holding

Reports had been circulating previously about a planned Tencent investment in WMG.

Entities controlled by majority owner Len Blavatnik and current executives were the sellers in the stock offering, meaning Warner Music iself did not receive the proceeds, according to SEC filings. Blavatnik, the British-American billionaire businessman and philanthropist, through his Access Industries conglomerate, holds the Class B shares about 99% of the voting power in Warner Music.


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