Warner Music Group launched a successful initial public offering as shares increased by 20 percent following the first day of trading, raising its valuation to $17.85 billion. This is up $2.85 billion from yesterdays closing valuation, which rose 15 percent after a few hours of trading, while its 5 percent growth today surpassed the S&P 500 and Nasdaq, which rose by just over 1 percent and 2 percent, respectively.
The company opened its offering with 77 million shares at $25 per share, and now lies at a cozy $30.12 per share. Investors will not have any say over the governance of the company, meaning that Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries will remain at the helm.
This stock consisted of secondary shares sold by Access Industries, with underwriters given a chance to have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 11,550,000 shares of Class A common stock.
Warner Music Group had intended to go public back in February, however these efforts were stunted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which caused the company to suffer through $74 million in quarterly losses. While this pandemic will affect record sales due to closures and delays of physical record orders, investors are optimistic about the company’s extensive catalog, and the outlook of streaming platforms.
“In this quasi-stay-at-home world over the next 12-18 months, that’s a goldmine for players like Warner Music in terms of how they go after the market,” Daniel Ives, managing director of equity research at Wedbush Securities, explained. “As a Big Three label, with Cardi B, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars and others, they have a content advantage: In terms of physical sales as well as recordings, COVID has been a headwind, but for streaming, it’s been a tailwind.”
Warner Music Group recently teamed up with the Blavatnik’s Family Foundation to donate $100 million in support of social justice organizations.