Jay Z wants to take on Spotify and Apple

Jay Z takes on Spotify & Apple
Jay Z takes on Spotify & Apple   

Hip hop superstar Jay Z wants to expand his music empire by buying a Swedish streaming music business, one that will put him in direct competition with Spotify and Apple's Beats.

A company owned by Jay Z—Project Panther Bidco—began negotiations with Swedish streaming company Aspiro in December. According to a statement released Friday morning, the company's board has recommended that all shareholders accept the Project Panther takeover offer of $56 million.

Aspiro, which is publicly traded in Sweden, operates streaming music subscription services WiMP and Tidal. The acceptance period of the offer runs from Feb. 19 to March 11.

Jay-Z attends an NBA basketball game on January 16, 2015 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.
Andrew Bernstein | NBAE | Getty Images
Jay-Z attends an NBA basketball game on January 16, 2015 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles.

In addition to Sweden, WiMP is available in Norway, Denmark, Germany and Poland. Tidal, which was launched last year, is available in the U.S. and U.K. It offers about 25 million songs and 75,000 music videos to about half a million subscribers, a fraction of the 15 million paying subscribers to Spotify.

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Tidal prides itself on offering higher-quality audio and music videos than rivals, but at higher subscription costs.

A representative of Jay Z's S. Carter Enterprises told CNBC that Aspiro represents the "forefront of the ongoing redefinition of music consumption." Project Panther plans to use Aspiro's streaming services for "global expansion," the representative said.

The offer has received pre-acceptance from the majority shareholder Streaming Media, controlled by Schibsted, which owns about 76 percent of Aspiro, according to spokesman Fredik Bjorland.

Bjorland said: "Based on the positive responses from the media and investor community, there are good reasons to believe" Project Panther will secure shareholder approval of the takeover bid.