Warner Music Group has caught the music industry by surprise with plans for an IPO.
WMG has filed documents with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for a public offering of its stock.
The high-stakes move is the latest financial twist in the booming music sector, following Spotify’s 2018 IPO and the agreed sale of 10% of UMG to Tencent by parent Vivendi at the end of last year.
The major was previously public until it was acquired by Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries in 2011. Back then, off the back of years of declining revenues across the industry, WMG was sold for $3.3 billlion (£2.55bn).
That now seems like a bargain and Blavatnik looks set to reap the rewards from several years of streaming-led growth. Market leader UMG was recently valued at €30 billion (£25.5bn).
In a statement, WMG said the number of shares of common stock to be offered and the price range for the proposed offering have not yet been determined.
Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs are acting as joint bookrunning managers for the offering.