Warner Music Group kicks off $1.8 billion Nasdaq IPO

Warner Music Group announced Tuesday it plans to list 70 million shares about three months after canceling the multibillion-dollar initial public offering.

The label conglomerate aims to sell shares between $23 and $26 each and bring in as much as $1.8 billion, according to a Tuesday regulatory filing. The company will list shares on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker WMG.

Warner Music initially planned to go public in the first quarter but pulled its IPO after the coronavirus slammed financial markets. The pandemic and corresponding government responses disrupted the company’s supply chains and halted physical retail operations. Strict lockdowns further dragged on the firm’s earnings as concerts, merchandise sales, and video shoots were indefinitely delayed, the company added.

In a post-COVID era where lockdown pushed consumers to consume music online, hence benefiting Apple iTunes and Amazon Music, Warner is aiming to get the upper hand among an industry where it once was the leader. 

Warner Music is the world’s third-largest label with a collection of artists including Bruno Mars, Camila Cabello, Ed Sheeran, and Janelle Monae. Labels operating within the company include Atlantic, Spinnin, Warner Records, Parlophone, and Elektra.

Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs are among the underwriters for Warner Music’s IPO.

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