There hasn’t been a more talked about acronym in the music industry this year than ‘SPAC’.
Special Purpose Acquisition Companies are everywhere and they’re spending huge sums, from long-time Geffen Records President Neil Jacobson’s $200m IPO in New York, to Anghami and Reservoir’s respective NASDAQ plans via SPAC mergers, to Bill Ackman’s financial vehicle buying 10% of Universal Music Group.
Now a new SPAC, launching in Europe, with over $300m at its disposal, could be another game-changer for the music industry.
I2PO, described as “the first European SPAC dedicated to entertainment and leisure”, has successfully raised €275m (approx $325m) via a private placement of units, exceeding the €250m (approx $295m) target initially announced.
It’s aiming to find the ideal investment target across various entertainment sectors – but has specifically expressed its interest in exploring potential partnerships in the music industry to MBW.
Founded by Iris Knobloch, banker Matthieu Pigasse’s company Combat Holding, and Artemis – the billionaire Pinault family’s holding company – I2PO is a public limited company registered in France, and it plans to make its debut on the Euronext Paris Stock Exchange on Tuesday, July 20, 2021.
“The value of music as we’ve seen it growing over the last years, the path to me is only upwards,” said Iris Knobloch, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of I2PO, speaking to MBW.
“We are lucky that in Europe, in a positive sense, we have our cultural differences [to the US and other parts of the world] – with music that is sometimes very local but with huge global and pan-European potential.”
Knobloch previously served as President of WarnerMedia for France, Benelux, Germany, Austria and Switzerland and stepped down last month after 25 years with the company.
“The value of music as we’ve seen it growing over the last years, the path to me is only upwards.”
Iris Knobloch, I2PO
Knobloch added that it was “extremely positive” to see Vivendi choose to publicly list 60% of Universal Music Group in Europe (Amsterdam) later this year, and that this move “is clearly opening doors for the music industry that maybe weren’t that obvious before”.
She also applauded the recent IPO of Believe on the Paris Euronext.
“The value of listing in Europe has clearly been established with these two listings [Believe and UMG] in Europe,” she said, adding of the music industry: “We see [this] as a real opportunity and we would like to engage in that sector.”
Knobloch commented on the company’s intention in a media release announcing the SPAC’s successful raise and IPO plans: “Our experienced team will leverage [our] global network to join with the right company for a long-term value creation partnership and accompany its founders and management to take their business to the next level as a publicly traded company,” she said.
I2PO says it is searching for a partner/s in sectors including music, but also “streaming & distribution, media IP & services, gaming & esports, e-learning, leisure platforms”.Music Business Worldwide