On Friday, the investment vehicle that the rap star used to make a$56 million bid for the Swedish technology company Aspiro announced that it had acquired enough of Aspiro’s shares to take over the company. Aspiro, which is publicly traded in Sweden, operates subscription streaming services under the brands WiMP and Tidal, which entered the United States market last fall.
Jay Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, made his offer for Aspiro in late January through an entity he controls, Project Panther Bidco. Aspiro shareholders had until Wednesday to consider the offer, which needed 90 percent approval for Project Panther to take it over.
“All conditions for completion of the offer have been fulfilled, and the offer is therefore declared unconditional,’’ Project Panther said in a statement on Friday. “Accordingly, Panther will complete the acquisition of the shares tendered in the offer.” Aspiro will be delisted from Nasdaq Stockholm, the statement added.
Other than saying in January that “Panther’s strategic ambition revolves around global expansion and upscaling of Aspiro’s platform, technology and services,” Jay Z has not revealed further plans for Aspiro. But his interest may have to do with high-definition audio.
Aspiro is one of a small but growing number of online music companies that have bet on consumers’ interest in improved sound quality. WiMP and Tidal both offer songs in higher audio resolution than is available on Spotify, iTunes or most major digital audio outlets. Deezer, another global competitor to Spotify, also has a high-resolution version, and last year Neil Young introduced Pono, an audio player and store for high-quality audio files.
However, those services represent a small portion of the market. According to an announcement from Aspiro in October, WiMP had 512,000 paying users, 20,000 of whom subscribe to its high-definition version.