Shawn Carter — better known as his rap alias Jay Z — has purchased a Swedish music streaming firm for a sum total of $54 million dollars (approximately £36 million), the Guardian reports.
Jay Z’s company, Project Panther Bidco, made an offer to buy Aspiro back in January. While the offer required 90 percent of shareholder approval, the final offer was accepted on Friday after some held out for a larger offer.
“All conditions for completion of the offer have been fulfilled, and the offer is therefore declared unconditional… Accordingly, Panther will complete the acquisition of the shares tendered in the offer.”
Aspiro is an online music streaming service that competes with the likes of Apple’s iTunes and Spotify. The acquisition of the company by the rapper may have effectively saved the business, which reported a net loss of around $5 million by the end of 2014.
The company was founded in 1998 in Norway, Sweden, and operates under two brand names: WiMP and Tidal (the name it goes by for services in the UK). Currently, Aspiro has half a million paid subscribers and costs £19.99 ($30) a month, compared to the much more popular Spotify, which boasts around 15 million subscribers and costs half of what Aspiro charges.
According to the New York Times, Jay Z has not yet stated what he has planned for his newly-acquired music streaming business. Speculations point to the rapper using the software for high-definition audio.
However, a spokesperson said, “Panther’s strategic ambition revolves around global expansion and upscaling of Aspiro’s platform, technology and services.”
His purchasing of the streaming service could also put him head-to-head with rival company Beats Music, which was co-founded by fellow rap artist Dr. Dre.
Jay Z was in the news recently for other music-related reasons when he admitted to (after initially denying) ripping off music for his Magna Carter album, most notably for his song “Versus” for which he sampled unauthorized music from jazz musician Bruno Spoerri.
He agreed to pay the jazz star 50 percent of the royalties from his album sales, an amount that, despite being a lot, does not seem to have fazed the rap artist a great deal. His total net worth is estimated to be around $510 million.
Jay Z is considered one of the best-selling rap artists of all time, and his purchasing of the music streaming service adds another business to his growing empire, including being the majority owner of 40/40 Club sports bars.