Hip-hop artist and entrepreneur Jay-Z is to buy a Swedish music-streaming service. Photo: Brad Barket/Invision/AP/TT

Rapper Jay-Z to snap up Swedish music-streaming company

A business controlled by hip-hop artist Shawn Carter, also known as Jay-Z, has made a SEK 464 million offer for Aspiro, the Swedish group behind music-streaming service Wimp, the Financial Times reports.

Jay-Z’s move is seen as a challenge to Sweden’s Spotify and to Apple, which recently bought the headphone maker and music-streaming operator Beats Music, founded by rapper Dr Dre and producer Jimmy Iovine.

Project Panther Bidco Ltd, the company controlled by Jay-Z, said on Friday that it had agreed to buy Sweden-listed Aspiro, which is based in Malmö, Sweden’s third largest city.

Project Panther Bidco Ltd. has offered SEK 1.05 in cash per share of Aspiro, whose board has recommended that shareholders accept the offer. The deal is subject to Panther buying more than 90 percent of the shares and getting regulatory approvals, AP reports.

According to the Financial Times, Wimp offers more than 25 million songs and 75,000 music videos to more than 500,000 subscribers in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Poland. By comparison, the pioneering Swedish music-streaming service Spotify is currently available in 58 countries and has 15 million paying subscribers and 45 million more using its free service.

Besides producing global hit tunes, Brooklyn-born Jay-Z, 45, runs a business empire that has spanned nightclubs, clothing lines and beauty products.

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