Warner Music to start trading Wednesday at $25 per share, to raise $1.9 bln


New York (AFP)

Warner Music said its stock would start trading Wednesday at $25 per share and raise more than $1.9 billion in its hotly awaited IPO.

The recording company increased the size of the deal to 77 million shares from the 70 million it had announced initially.

Access Industries, a group of investors headed by billionaire Len Blavatnik, which acquired Warner Music for $3.3 billion in 2011, will retain its majority stake.

The company will trade on the NASDAQ as WMG. It had set a price range of $23 to $26 for its shares.

Warner Music, one of the world's "big three" recording companies, is the home of artists such as Cardi B and Ed Sheeran and holds the lucrative back catalogues from the likes of Madonna.

Warner had initially announced IPO plans in February before postponing them over the coronavirus pandemic, still considered a risk factor to the company's business.

The infection's spread dealt the music industry a major blow especially to live performances, with a Goldman Sachs report projecting a 25 percent drop in global revenue though forecasting a brighter outlook for 2021.

Warner owns and operates some of the globe's most successful labels, including Atlantic Records, Elektra Records, Warner Records and Parlophone.

It also owns the globe's major music publisher Warner Chappell Music.