Business News Deals Digital

7digital merger with UBC complete

By | Published on Wednesday 21 May 2014


The previously reported merger of media firm UBC and digital music service provider 7digital is complete, with the former acquiring the latter in a deal worth £16.5 million. The deal constitutes a reverse takeover, in that the combined business will take UBC’s stockmarket listing, but as the 7digital Group. The newly formed company will list on 10 Jun with an expected valuation in the region of £29 million.

Under the arrangement, 7digital’s existing shareholders will control 75% of the new business, with UBC boss Simon Cole becoming CEO and 7digital chief Ben Drury taking the position of Chief Strategy Officer. Former London Stock Exchange chair Donald Cruickshank will become Chairman of the new entity.

Bigging up the merger form his side, Cole told reporters: “This transaction will create a world leading digital music and radio platform that is ideally positioned to exploit the convergence of radio and digital music services. The new business will also be well-placed to drive consolidation of the fragmented B2B digital music industry”.

Meanwhile Drury said: “Look at iTunes radio in the US and Apple possibly buying Beats. The two worlds are converging. The 7digital open platform simplifies access to the world’s music and the combination with UBC will help further enhance the platform to include radio-style capability and services to help unlock the mass market for our customers and partners”.

In a separate deal, UBC reduced its stake in audio-sharing platform Audioboo, from 34% down to 18.7%. Audioboo – under the new moniker Audioboom – is now a separately listed company, with the 7digital Group now controlling UBC’s stake.