Believe Ad-Hoc Board Committee Provides Updated Privatization Offer Timetable Following Warner Music Withdrawal

believe earnings q3 2023
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believe earnings q3 2023
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Believe founder and CEO Denis Ladegaillerie. Photo Credit: Believe

Days after Warner Music Group (WMG) announced that it wouldn’t submit a bid for Believe after all, the French music company’s directors have provided an update on the Denis Ladegaillerie-led consortium’s privatization plans.

Those plans officially entered the media spotlight in mid-February, when the mentioned consortium, featuring Ladegaillerie (Believe’s founder and CEO) as well as existing investors TCV and EQT, indicated that it would take the company private. In brief, this consortium proposed paying €15 per share, a modest premium from Believe’s price at the time.

While the privatization plan’s closure appeared imminent at the outset – the consortium relayed that it’d already wrapped deals with several leading shareholders – it subsequently emerged that a third party had floated a possibly superior offer.

Ultimately revealed as WMG, said third party noted that it might pay €17 or more per share. Predictably, the consortium was less than thrilled with the development, whereas the market responded accordingly, elevating BLV closer to the higher price. Regulatory considerations, criticism from indie organizations, and more fueled multiple twists and turns in the ensuing weeks.

As initially noted, however, Warner Music this past weekend confirmed that it had opted against submitting a bid for Believe. Besides following ample speculation and discussion, this seeming conclusion to the takeover confrontation arrived after the major label’s review of “confidential information” concerning Believe’s financials.

In any event, with WMG having dropped its own takeover bid, Believe’s ad-hoc board committee – consisting of the lone three board members without any ties to the consortium, that is – “has continued to supervise the work of the independent expert” regarding the original privatization plan.

Though it appeared for a time (as WMG was threatening to scoop up Believe) that this independent expert’s report would be waived in an effort to expedite the deal’s closure, it’s evidently back on the table. As described by the ad-hoc committee, the findings of the independent expert, Paris-based Ledouble, will mold its final recommendation concerning the takeover.

Running with the point, the committee, factoring for “its interaction with the independent expert,” says it “should be in a position to give its reasoned opinion by” next Friday, April 19th.

That presumably affirmative “reasoned opinion” will seemingly seal the privatization plan. Believe stock dipped slightly during today’s trading and was worth €14.96 per share at market close – in line with the price introduced by the consortium, of course.