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Warner Music Group plans IPO, returning to public roots

Warner Music Group is going public once more. Yesterday, the major label announced its plans for an IPO and filed with the SEC to move ahead with the common stock offering. The company has not set the expected price range or the number of shares it will make available. Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, and Goldman Sachs will be the joint bookrunning managers for the offering.

WMG has been a privately owned company for the past eight years. The label was purchased by Access Industries for $3.3 billion in 2011.

The IPO announcement follows a positive first quarter for WMG. It reported a record high revenue of $1.256 billion, including digital revenue of $706 million largely powered by streaming successes, in the period ending December 31, 2019. Net income in the quarter rose 42% to $122 million.

Music companies have been making more moves on the market recently. Spotify’s unusual direct listing in April 2018 kicked off a wave of public offerings and big-ticket deals for Tencent Music, Sonos, and Universal Music Group.

Anna Washenko

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