SOUNDING BOARD: Renowned for his eye for contemporary art, François Pinault also seems to have an ear for music.
The French billionaire’s family office is among founders of a special purpose acquisition company that is poised to merge with streaming platform Deezer and take it public.
The SPAC, known as 12PO, said the business combination would be renamed Deezer and list this summer on the professional segment of Euronext Paris, valuing the firm at 1.05 billion euros.
A press release touted Deezer as “the second largest independent music streaming platform in the world” after Spotify with 9.6 million subscribers and 2021 revenues of 400 million euros. The French tech start-up was created in 2007 by Daniel Marhely.
“We are excited to accompany one of the emblematic European tech leaders in its next chapter as a public company listed in Paris,” commented François-Henri Pinault, cofounder and member of the board of directors of I2PO. “We launched the first European SPAC dedicated to entertainment and leisure with the ambition to take a European champion to new heights. In Deezer, we have found the ideal combination.
“I2PO brings an extensive international network and a complementary skill set to help develop Deezer as the leading independent music streaming platform through strong positions in selected key markets,” he added.
François-Henri Pinault is also chief executive officer of French luxury giant Kering, parent of Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bottega Veneta and other brands.
I2PO started trading in July 2021. The SPAC was formed by Groupe Artémis, the family holding of the Pinault family; SaCh27 SAS, a vehicle for Iris Knobloch, and Combat Holding SAS, controlled by Matthieu Pigasse.
Deezer touts streaming as the “fastest-growing segment of the recorded music market” with retail revenues advancing at a compound annual growth rate of 28 percent between 2016 and 2020, when it reached a total addressable market of about $22 billion.
In addition, music streaming subscriber penetration is forecast to increase to 14 percent in 2027 from 8 percent in 2020.