Music label Believe hopes to strike chord with £1.7bn float
France's Believe is tuning up for a €2bn (£1.7bn) listing as the record label aims to cash in on the rise of music streaming.
The music services company hopes to raise €500m by floating on the Paris Euronext stock exchange to help bankroll its growth plans.
Believe owns the New York-based music distribution service TuneCore, which lets independent musicians sell their songs through streaming services such as Apple Music.
The move comes as Universal Music - the record giant beyond Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen - prepares a €30bn (£26bn) listing in Amsterdam.
French media titan Vivendi is offloading 60pc of Universal through the float, with the company retaining a fifth of the stock after selling 20pc to China's Tencent.
Believe chief executive Denis Ladegaillerie said it had a "unique model" to support independent artists and labels as streaming changes how people discover music.
He said the listing will allow the company to expand faster while building a "better, more diverse, more respectful, more transparent and fairer future for all artists".
Believe recorded a 54pc rise in digital music sales to €728m for the two years to 2020, while first-quarter revenues jumped 26pc to €124m compared to last year.
The music industry has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years as Spotify and Apple Music have ushered in a streaming boom, handing record labels a steady flow of income from subscribers. Many artists have complained that their income from streaming is marginal, however.
Investor appetite for a slice of the music business remains higher nonetheless. Record company Warner Music floated in New York in June 2020 and its value has risen $4bn to $20bn.
The race to market comes after Universal announced in February that it was rebooting Virgin Music nearly half a century after it disrupted the record industry.
Universal Music has refashioned the brand as a distribution and services business for musicians and labels, nine years after it acquired Virgin through a £1.2bn swoop on EMI.
Virgin Music Label and Artists Services will offer musicians access to Universal's technology platforms and network of industry specialists in the world's top five music markets, including the UK and America.