24 March 2018, India:
Reliance Industries today acquired Digital Music Service Saavn. Reliance has merged JioMusic with Saavn to create a music entity. Reliance will invest upto $100 million for growth and expansion of the combined music entity. As a part of deal, Reliance will acquire a partial stake from existing shareholders (Tiger Global Management, Liberty Media and Bertelsmann) of Saavn for $104 million.
“The combines entity is valued at over $1 billion, with JioMusic’s implied valuation at $670 million,” the companies said in a joint statement.
“The integrated business will be developed into a media platform of the future with global reach, cross-border original content, an independent artist marketplace, consolidated data and one of the largest mobile advertising mediums,” the statement added.
“The investment and combination of our music assets with Saavn underlines our commitment to further boost the digital ecosystem and provide unlimited digital entertainment services to consumers over a strong uninterrupted network. We are delighted to announce this partnership with Saavn and believe that their highly experienced management team will be instrumental in expanding Jio-Saavn to an extensive user base, thereby strengthening our leadership position in the Indian streaming market,” said Akash Ambani, Director, Reliance Jio.
“Nearly 10 years ago, we had a vision to build a connected music platform, dedicated to South Asian culture across the globe. We always envisioned the company for the long term with intense focus on products, data, and groundbreaking original content. Our alignment with Reliance enables us to create one of the largest, fastest-growing, and most capable media platforms in the world,” said Rishi Malhotra, Co-Founder and CEO of Saavn.
Saavn has been at the forefront of the digital music revolution in India. Our partnership with Reliance reinforces our commitment to the growth of our label partners, the independent artist ecosystem, and the overall music industry globally,” said Paramdeep Singh, Co-Founder and Executive Vice Chairman at Saavn.
“Goldman Sachs acted as financial advisor, AZB & Partners and Covington & Burling LLP acted as legal advisors and Ernst & Young provided tax advisory and diligence services to RIL. Saavn was advised by Gunderson Dettmer, Proskauer Rose and Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Partners as legal advisors, LionTree as exclusive financial advisor, PWC and KNAV & Co. as accounting and tax advisors. Ernst & Young Merchant Banking Services Pvt. Ltd. provided independent valuation in respect of Indian regulatory filings while BDO India LLP acted as the independent valuation advisor for the transaction,” the statement added.
The co-founders of Saavn will continue in their leadership roles.
Saavn was founded by Rishi Malhotra, Paramdeep Singh and Vinodh Bhat in 2007. It offers 36 million tracks in 15 languages. The company has 900+ label partnership
(Source – Statement, Image – JioMusic)