Indie distributor and label Believe, having debuted on the Euronext Paris over the summer, has acquired a 25 percent stake in TF1 Group’s Play Two, which bills itself as “France’s foremost independent music label.”
16-year-old Believe announced the newly purchased Play Two interest as part of its Q3 2021 earnings report. Play Two – which arrived on the scene in 2016 and has signed acts including Anne Sila, Vincent Niclo, Tayc, and Camelia Jordana – “will now benefit from the whole range of Believe’s services, particularly in terms of distribution,” the involved parties specified.
Additionally, Believe and Play Two (which was founded by Sébastien Duclos and Julien Godin, who sold a business called Play On to Warner Music in 2016) emphasized the partnership’s “highly complementary roster,” which is poised to diversify Believe’s broader “roster in France around a wider variety of musical genres.”
Paris-headquartered Believe’s 25 percent buyout valued Play Two at “just under” €50 million ($57.70 million at the present exchange rate), for a price tag of about $14 million. Duclos and Godin are expected to remain in charge of Play Two’s “general management” post-deal, and it’s worth noting that TF1 Group (which inked a merger agreement with M6 Group in July) operates a number of television stations and production companies. Almost 44 percent of TF1 Group belongs to French conglomerate Bouygues.
Addressing the deal in a statement, Play Two founders Sébastien Duclos and Julien Godin said in part: “We have known the Believe teams for a long time and share with Denis [CEO of Believe] and Romain [general manager of Believe France] the same entrepreneurial culture as well as a common vision of the future of the music and entertainment industry. With the TF1 Group, which is an exceptional partner in the development of our structure, we now form a new team with Believe, perfectly adapted to the challenges of this rapidly changing market.”
Regarding the Q3 2021 earnings report (covering the three months ending on September 30th) that formally revealed Believe’s multimillion-dollar Play Two investment, the company turned in a 27.1 percent year-over-year revenue boost, at €144 million ($166.28 million). The lion’s share of the sum derived from “premium solutions,” the document shows, and Believe has likewise recorded a 30.7 percent YoY revenue hike through 2021’s first nine months, at €404 million ($466.50 million).
Within the quarterly income total, Believe saw a 58 percent YoY revenue jump in Asia Pacific and Africa (€32 million/$36.94 million), besides a 35.5 percent improvement in the Americas (€21 million/$24.24 million), 30 percent in Europe excluding France and Germany (€41 million/$47.33 million), 15.4 percent in France (€24 million/$27.71 million), and 2.2 percent in Germany (€25 million/$28.87 million). Believe stock (BLV on the Euronext Paris) experienced a 1.77 percent valuation boost during today’s trading hours, and shares were worth €18.22 ($21.03) apiece when the market closed.