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Warner Music Group Registers for IPO

Shares and pricing are not yet known

Warner Music Group — home of hitmakers like Blake Shelton and Ed Sheeran — has filed for a proposed initial public offering of its common stock.

The announcement came Thursday, as numerous other companies are reporting their own earnings publicly for shareholders. It was not immediately apparent what amount of shares of common stock would be offered, nor what the price range would be.

Access Industries bought Warner Music Group in 2011, taking it private.

“Upon completion of this offering, we will have two classes of common stock, Class A common stock and Class B common stock,” says the filing, reviewed by TheWrap. “Each share of Class A common stock is entitled to one vote per share. Each share of Class B common stock is entitled to 20 votes per share. Holders of our Class A common stock and Class B common stock vote together as a single class on all matters, except as otherwise set forth in this prospectus or as required by applicable law.”

According to the filing, each outstanding share of Class B common stock will convert automatically into one share of Class A common stock upon any transfer, “except for certain exceptions and permitted transfers described in our amended and restated certificate of incorporation.”

Warner Music Group’s filing also noted the risks associated with going public, including the evolving streaming industry. It lists consolidation among companies, competitors outspending WMG on discovery and promotion of artists and artists’ potential preference for self-distribution as potential risks.

“The industries in which we operate are highly competitive, have experienced ongoing consolidation among major music entertainment companies and are driven by consumer preferences that are rapidly changing,” the filing says.

In addition to its U.S. labels, WMG operates through numerous affiliates and licensees in more than 50 countries.

Their recorded music business includes growing artist services business, which offers artist management, merchandising, touring, fan clubs, VIP ticketing, sponsorships and brand endorsements and numerous third-party solutions that facilitate the sale of music-based content directly to consumers. The artist services business works with WMG artists as well as artists not otherwise signed to WMG labels.


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