Jay Z's $56 million offer for Aspiro, the parent company of streaming services Tidal and WiMP, has reportedly been rejected by more than 10 percent of the investors, putting a temporary halt to his acquisition attempt. It's likely that shareholders are hoping for a better offer, despite the fact that the initial bid represented a 60 percent premium over the company's current value. But Jay Z apparently hasn't taken the bait. "The motive for the bidder's passivity is shrouded in mystery," said Carl Rosén, CEO of Shareholders' Association, who has clearly not familiarized himself with the music mogul's Machiavellian approach to business.
In a statement sent to The Next Web, Fredrik Bjørland, chairman of the Aspiro’s independent board committee, sought to minimize the issue, saying that reports of a vote against the deal were premature. Project Panther is the holding company through which Jay Z made his offer.
"As you probably know, the independent board committee has made a thorough evaluation of the bid from Project Panther, assisted by an external fairness opinion by ABG Sundal Collier and following a structured process. We still believe the offer is attractive for both the company and its shareholders, and recommend the offer based on this.
We further note that Aktiespararna’s recommendation to not accept the offer is primarily based on an argument that more than 10% will reject the offer and a potentially raised bid by Project Panther. This is a bit surprising, as to my experience, we have neither a confirmation that more than 10% will reject the offer (as we are still within the acceptance period until March 11th) nor that Project Panther is willing to raise its bid or engage in direct negotiations with the minority shareholders.
In my opinion, the recommendation to not accept the offer involves high risk, as it is well known that Aspiro is currently unprofitable and in need of capital within 12 months, and the current majority shareholder has indicated it is not willing to support this capital need. We thus believe accepting a 60% bid premium is a far better risk/reward recommendation."