“Our offer is as attractive as possible for shareholders,” says the boss of Believe

Change in perspective at Believe, the French flagship of digital services for musicians and labels. A consortium composed of Denis Ladegaillerie and two funds, EQT and TCV, proposed to shareholders to buy back 72% of the company’s capital to then launch, if the conditions are met, a takeover bid for the rest of the shares. Enough to pave the way for Believe to exit the stock market, less than three years after its listing. Its CEO and founder explains to “Echos” the reasons behind this choice.

Why did you decide to launch this operation today which could lead to Believe being delisted?

The fundamental reason is that we want Believe to be able to accelerate its growth. We already represent over 1 million artists in over 50 countries. We still have the ambition to become a world leader in the music publishing and production market for all artists, thanks to our positioning open to emerging musicians.

But to become a global leader, we need to be in a position to make major acquisitions. Our group must be able to raise funds with an efficient cost of capital and at valuation levels that reflect the performance of its activities. This is the goal of this operation.

So the stock market listing was an obstacle to your growth ambitions?

First of all, it should be remembered that we achieved almost two years in advance all of the objectives that we set for ourselves at the time of our IPO. We significantly outperformed our objectives, both operationally and in terms of financial results.

Moreover, the IPO allowed us to raise 300 million euros at the time. We have invested them in acquisitions or in developing our activities, and we have reconstituted resources allowing us, if we wish, to invest 100 million euros per year, both in 2024 and in 2025, in external growth. Despite all this, Believe has had to deal with an extremely difficult market context since its IPO. [le cours de l’action est en retrait d’environ un tiers depuis son entrée en Bourse, NDLR].

What do you say to shareholders who find themselves with capital losses?

We did what we needed to do by executing our strategic plan. But the world changed between 2021 and 2024. In 2021, we were in a world of interest rates close to zero. However, circumstances have changed enormously. Today, as members of the consortium, our offer [à 15 euros par action, soit une prime de 21 % par rapport au cours de vendredi, NDLR] is as attractive as possible for shareholders. She values ​​society in a very fair way.

Do you have any regrets?

With the level of valuation we had, if a large acquisition had arisen, we would have had difficulty financing it. If I had one regret, it would be not doing this operation today and not putting Believe in a position to seize opportunities in the next twenty-four months. I hope I don’t have that regret!

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