Billionaire Francois Pinault and other investors are set to buy streaming music platform Deezer in a deal valued at more than $1 billion.
The family office of Kering SA founder Francois Pinault, as well as two other founding members of I2PO, a blank check firm that was listed in Paris last year, will announce they will buy the French company for an enterprise value of at least US$ $1,130 million.
Also, the combined entity plans to take Deezer public in Paris around July once the deal closes.
Deezer is an unprofitable streaming platform that competes with Spotify Technology SA, another loss-making platform, as well as Apple Music. Deezer’s biggest markets are France, Brazil and Germany, and it wants to expand significantly in the US and UK, they said. The platform will seek to penetrate more markets by expanding its partnership agreements, such as the one it has with broadcaster RTL in Germany. Deezer aims to reach profitability by 2025.
The streaming service will keep CEO Jeronimo Folgueira and CFO Stephane Rougeot in their current roles. Chairman Guillaume d’Hauteville will be replaced by Iris Knobloch, one of the founders of I2PO and a former WarnerMedia executive, before the end of the year. Banker Matthieu Pigasse, director of Centerview Partners in France, is the third founder of I2PO.
Deezer previously attempted to go public in 2015 but postponed the initial public offering due to market conditions, it said at the time. The company’s shareholders include Access Industries, a fund created by Len Blavatnik, as well as Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding Co. and phone operator Orange SA.
Centerview Partners advised the I2PO founders on the deal. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that Deezer was close to reaching an agreement with I2PO to go public through SPAC.
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