Ferd Capital and Platekompaniet join Schibsted Media Group in the effort to develop the music streaming service WiMP. WiMP is owned by Aspiro AB where Schibsted recently increased its ownership to 74.3%. Ferd Capital and Platekompaniet become Schibsted’s partners in developing this ownership through a joint ownership of the holding company Streaming Media AS.
Going into 2012, Wimp had 350,000 paying customers in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Portugal. Launches in The Netherlands and Germany are in progress, and more countries will follow. Growth capital will be injected into WiMP in order to develop the service and support the geographical expansion.
Schibsted will contribute with distribution and marketing through its strong online positions and its experience with international roll out of digital media. Ferd will contribute with extensive skills linked to the development of growth companies throw active ownership. Platekompaniet has broad experience and success from digital and physical sale of music.
The award winning service WiMP focuses on high quality, local content and local presence. The service has been available on new platforms like iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone 7, Logitech Squeezebox, Sonos etc. at early stages. WiMP’s editorial oriented music profile and business model has made it possible to provide customers with access to artists like Adele, Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd, who generally have been restrictive in granting access to their music through other streaming services.
“We are looking forward to strengthening the development of WiMP, and see great value in Ferd Capital and Platekompaniet as partners”, Trond Berger, CFO of Schibsted, says. “It was important for us to find a financial partner with a significant degree of flexibility, and Ferd Capital is well suited in this respect,” Berger says.
“We have watched the music industry and the mega trend moving the market from owning to renting music over several years, and we see WiMP as an important and innovative player in this market. In most markets more than 50% of the music consumed is local, and together with strong owners like Schibsted and Platekompaniet, WiMP is in a good position to utilize this,” Bjørn Erik Reinseth, partner in Ferd Capital says.
“We are focused on helping customers to find their old favourites and music they did not know they liked, and will continue with this through WiMP, which we consider one of the best streaming services globally,” Rolf Kristian Presthus, owner and general manager of Platekompaniet AS says.
Schibsted Media Group holds 73.4%, Ferd Capital 16.6% and Platekompaniet 10.0% of Streaming Media AS. The Nomination Committee of Aspiro AB has recommended electing one representative from Ferd and one representative from Platekompaniet to the board of directors in Aspiro AB. In addition, three representatives from Schibsted and one independent representative are recommended.
Ferd Capital is a unit of Ferd AS – a leading Norwegian industry and finance group focusing on active ownership in strong companies with international potential. Ferd Capital is an active and long-term investor in privately held and listed Nordic companies. They apply a holistic and comprehensive approach to investments spanning from venture to buy-out. (www.ferd.no)
Platekompaniet AS is the market leader in sale of music and movies in Norway. The chain has 26 outlets and celebrates its 20 years anniversary in 2012. (www.platekompaniet.no)
For further information, please contact:
Trond Berger, CFO
Mobile: + 47 91 68 66 95
Ferd Capital AS
Bjørn Erik Reinseth, Partner
Mobil: + 47 99 02 20 00
Rolf Kristian Presthus, CEO
Mobil: + 47 90 85 83 35
Oslo, 27. april 2012
Jo Christian Steigedal
VP Investor Relations