Deezer to mount IPO?

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Streaming music service deezer is reported to be considering mounting an IPO in about 18 months’ time.

The France-based service is run by Hans-Holger Albrecht and backed financially by Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. It has some 14 million monthly active users in 185 countries.

Deezer had considered an IPO back in 2015 but dropped the idea. “Going public is an opportunity… it is something that we will consider in the next 12 to 18 months,” Hans-Holger Albrecht told The National newspaper.

In August 2018, deezer secured an investment of 1 billion Saudi riyals (UAE Dirhams 979m) from Prince Alwaleed’s Kingdom Holding Company and Rotana Group in a private placement that valued the company at around $1.10 billion, analysts said at the time. More than 100 Arabic artists are signed to Rotana, including major stars Mohammed Abdo, Elissa and Asallah.

Deezer has various pricing plans with an ad-supported ‘Flow’ version being free for a limited/test period, then a Premium version at $9.99 and a top-of-the-range Elite version at $14.99.

“We know financial markets love music streaming companies as you saw in the case of Spotify [which went public with $26.5 billion valuation in April 2018]. As a company, we are of the right size… we will raise an IPO, if everything goes well,” said Albrecht, without disclosing further details.

Deezer was first launched in France in 2007 and entered the MENA region last year and is now aiming for 4 million subscribers coming out of Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt.

As a result of its new MENA focus it is creating locally produced comedy shows, podcasts and talk-shows out of a new production facility in the region.


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