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Jay Z stumbles in bid to buy music company

04 March 2015, 17:30

Stockholm - Minority owners of Norwegian music streaming service Wimp announced Wednesday they had blocked rap mogul Jay Z's $56-million bid and said the ball was now in the rap star's court.

Over 10 percent of the minority owners of Wimp's parent company Aspiro had rejected the bid, meaning Jay Z has to amend his original offer for a 90-percent stake in the company, the Swedish Shareholders' Association said in a statement.

"The bidder has not reacted, either by withdrawing the bid, raising the offer or lowering" the percentage sought, it said.

The minority owners -- who believe Jay Z's bid undervalued the company's future potential -- had yet to hear back from from the platinum-selling artist.

Jay Z used his controlling stake in Project Panther Bidco to launch a 464-million-kronor ($56-million, 49-million-euro) bid for Aspiro that was accepted early on by majority owner Schibsted, which controls 76 percent of the Swedish-listed company.

At the end of the third quarter of 2014, Wimp said it had 512,000 paying users in Scandinavia, Germany and Poland.

That is a far cry from its Nordic rival Spotify, a pioneer in the streaming music business with over 15 million paying subscribers.

Jay Z's expected takeover of Wimp would see the rapper vie for a slice of the music streaming-market pie, with Apple having acquired Beats Music from another rap star, Dr Dre, in a much publicised $3.2-billion deal last year.

In addition to several music-related ventures Jay Z has branched out into fashion and last year bought the champagne brand Armand de Brignac, which boasts an ace of spades on its label.

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