Jay-Z has won control of a Swedish music streaming company after more than 90% of shareholders accepted the star’s $54m (£36m) offer.
A spokesman for Project Panther Bidco, a company controlled by the 45-year-old rapper, said on Friday that all the conditions for completing the acquisition of Aspiro had now been met.
In late January, Panther Bidco announced an offer for Aspiro, which runs music streaming services WiMP and Tidal. Majority shareholder Schibsted, the Norwegian media group, backed the deal but some with small stakes held out for a higher offer.
However, the offer was declared unconditional on Friday and Aspiro will be delisted from the Nasdaq Stockholm exchange.
Aspiro had posted a net loss of $5m for the last three months of 2014 and admitted that it could run out of money at some point this year.
Aspiro had 500,000 paying users for its streaming services at the end of 2014. The figure includes 35,000 subscribers for its “lossless” HiFi-quality music service that is available in the UK under the Tidal brand. It costs £19.99 a month – double the price of Spotify in the UK.
The company plans to launch Tidal in 22 countries, mostly in Europe, by the end of March.
The figures for Tidal are dwarfed by Deezer Elite, which is being rolled out globally after attracting 200,000 subscribers in the United States.
The Aspiro acquisition puts Jay Z into direct competition with Beats Music, the streaming service co-founded by Dr Dre, which was bought by Apple as part of a $3bn acquisition of its parent company Beats Electronics in 2014.
A lossless service could form part of Apple’s looming relaunch of Beats.
Jay-Z, one of the world’s best-selling music artists of all time, adds to a business empire that includes 40/40 Club sports bars and Rocawear clothing.
This article was written by Staff and agencies, for theguardian.com on Friday 13th March 2015 12.40 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010