Wednesday 3 June 2020 3:05 pm

Warner Music raises $1.9bn in biggest US listing this year

Warner Music Group today said it had raised $1.93bn (£1.5bn) from its initial public offering (IPO), marking Wall Street’s largest listing this year.

The record label had planned to price its IPO yesterday, but postponed it by a day to mark Black Out Tuesday, a global social media event to show support for racial justice.

Read more: Warner Music Group resumes $1.8bn IPO after coroanvirus

The company, which counts Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and Lizzo among its artists, achieved a valuation of $12.75bn after selling 77m shares at $25 per share.

Warner Music had previously proposed to offer 70m shares and set a target price range of between $23 and $26 per share.

The float, which consists entirely of existing investors selling stock, means the record label is worth almost four times what billionaire Len Blavatnik paid for it in 2011.

The listing will mark a major payday for Ukrainian-born Blavatnik, who owns a majority stake in Warner Music through his investment vehicle Access Industries.

In addition to modern stars such as Cardi B and Charlie XCX, Warner’s back catalogue boasts big-name artists including Pink Floyd, Prince and David Bowie.

The record label enjoyed a 12 per cent boost to its streaming revenue in April thanks to new releases including the latest album from Grammy award-winning artist Dua Lipa.

Read more: Warner Media names Hulu co-founder Jason Kilar as new chief executive

But Warner, which first delayed its listing from March due to the coronavirus outbreak, warned the pandemic had harmed physical revenue streams and delayed the release of new albums, films and TV shows.

The group posted a net loss of $74m in the second quarter, compared to a profit of $67m in the same period last year. Its debt pile stands at $2.98bn.