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Tencent’s Warner Music share purchase confirmed

By | Published on Monday 15 June 2020

Warner Music

As expected, Chinese web giant Tencent has bought itself some lovely Warner Music stock, further expanding its interests across the mainstream music industry. Very soon there won’t be many of the big music industry pies it doesn’t have its fingers in. Those are going to be very sticky fingers. At least hand sanitiser is becoming easy to source again.

There were rumours late last month that Tencent would grab some Warner stock ahead of the mini-major’s IPO on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Last week it was confirmed that Tencent had acquired a total of eight million of Warner Music’s Class A shares via two transactions, one through its Tencent Music Entertainment subsidiary. That equates to 10.4% of the music firm’s Class A shares, or a 1.6% stake once all share types are taken into account (Access Industries controls the company through class B stock with supervoting rights).

Tencent and its TME division are the dominant player in digital music in China, where it operates three streaming services, a standalone karaoke service and some other music ventures, as well as representing the global catalogues of all three majors in the country.

Beyond China it operates the Joox streaming service in other markets, has stakes in Spotify and Indian streaming service Gaana, and last year led a consortium that bought 10% of Universal Music from Vivendi.

That’s quite a lot to be getting on with. Although it seems likely that Tencent’s management will putting their metaphorical fingers into more of the music industry’s metaphorical pies in the year ahead.