Believe launches €300m Paris IPO following ‘most prolific quarter’ in its history

Denis Ladegaillerie, CEO, Believe

French indie distribution and services company, Believe, has launched its IPO on the Paris Euronext.

The company – the owner of TuneCore and various labels as well as its own-branded indie services platform – has announced an indicative price range of the IPO of between €19.50 and €22.50 per share, with an initial issuance of 15,384,616 new shares.

At the low end of its indicative price range (€19.50) that would raise €300 million.

It’s already off to a good start: Fonds Stratégique de Participations (FSP) has committed to place an order for Believe shares in an amount of €60 million as part of the IPO.

Believe has also announced an over-allotment option for the IPO, representing a maximum of 10% of its initial issuance, which at €19.50 per share would take the raise to €330 million.

The offering starts today (June 1) and is expected to close EOP next Tuesday for shares in France (June 8) and next Wednesday (June 9) for international share transactions.

Believe then expects to start trading on the Paris Euronext on Thursday, June 10.

Denis Ladegaillerie, Founder and CEO of Believe, said: “Our ambition is to become the global leader in developing independent artists and labels in the digital world. In the first quarter of 2021, Believe attracted the largest number of independent artists and labels since its creation. Over the past few weeks, we have met with a number of investors who have understood why Believe is ideally positioned to benefit from the digitalisation of the music market and the rise of independent artists and labels. This is notably the case of the Fonds Stratégique de Participations (FSP), which will invest €60 million to participate in this IPO.”

“Over the past few weeks, we have met with a number of investors who have understood why Believe is ideally positioned to benefit from the digitalisation of the music market and the rise of independent artists and labels.”

Denis Ladegaillerie, Believe

He added: “This transaction aims to build a solid and balanced shareholder base alongside TCV, our historical long-term shareholder specialising in technology companies, at a time when Believe is accelerating its development driven by its profitable growth trajectory. It will allow us to finance our growth, in particular through targeted acquisitions. Developing an innovative technological platform, having the best digital expertise on the market, with local teams close to artists and independent labels to build relationships of trust with them based on respect, transparency and fairness: these are the fundamental elements serving our ambition. Participating in this IPO, the first one of a Next 40 company, is also an investment in the success of tomorrow’s artists and independent labels.”

(The Next 40 is a list of companies in France tipped to have a big future.)

In Q1 2021, Believe secured a raft of new signings with key independent artists and labels.

Artists to ink deals with the company included British singer/songwriter James Morrison, plus heavy metal titans Sabaton (via Nuclear Blast), and Fumez The Engineer, with his viral Plugged-In series.

Labels who signed deals with Believe in Q1 included UK labels Communion Records – the current home of artists Laurel, Bear’s Den and Lucy Rose, having previously helped launch the careers of Ben Howard, Michael Kiwanuka and Catfish and the Bottlemen. Other indie record companies to sign with Believe in the quarter included dance label Cr2 Records as well as ZPR Media, one of Poland’s fastest-growing new labels.

In South East Asia, Believe says it signed an “unprecedented” 350 new independent artist and label partners in the period. They included Wut Pabon, one of the biggest artists from South Thailand, who has 1.1 million subscribers on YouTube. Believe’s signings included Filipino TikTok viral hitmaker Lil Vinceyy, plus LoveIs, one of the biggest indie labels in Thailand, which previously had a deal with Warner.

In a statement, Believe told MBW: “The Q1 period has been the most prolific quarter since the inception of Believe, proving that its unique model is ideally positioned at the core of the transformation of the music market to attract more and more emerging to established artists and labels, and to succeed in retaining top local artists and labels.”

“We have signed more artists and labels coming from traditional major record labels than ever in our history.”

Denis Ladegaillerie, Believe

Denis Ladegaillerie said of the Q1 period: “We have signed more artists and labels coming from traditional major record labels than ever in our history. Those successes illustrate the accelerated change in the artist and label market. Artists and labels are seeking a different kind of relationship, a digital-first expertise to develop their release at a time when digital now represents the majority of their revenues and better economics. Believe offers that model and that is making us attractive.”

Jamie Emsell, Managing Director, Communion Music Group, said: “From our first conversations I was impressed with Believe’s ambition and their progressive perspective on the global marketplace. Believe also demonstrated a great understanding of Communion Records’ past and shared our excitement about where we are going next. We are already doing great work together on behalf of the artists Communion is in partnership with and look forward to doing much more.”

Mark Brown, Cr2’s Founder and CEO added: “I am hugely excited about our global distribution deal and partnership with Believe. After 18 years of Cr2 Records being a self-releasing record label, I felt the time was right to partner with Believe to expand and grow the label globally while remaining independent. We’re thrilled to be working with the Believe team and we look forward to a successful 2021 and beyond.”

And Paul McDonald of Closer Artists said: “In signing to Believe, James [Morrison] recognised a modern, young, dynamic international company with ambitions to match his own. Believe was respectful of James’ successful history and excited about the next phase of his career. We are very much looking forward to seeing the full Believe team in action.”Music Business Worldwide