Several Norwegian companies and investors received unusual letters during the Easter holidays from American rapper Jay Z, threatening them with a large compensation claims over a music streaming service called Tidal that he bought from them last year. Jay Z believes he paid too much for Tidal, which he also claims wasn’t what it was cracked up to be.
Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported Thursday that the letters were sent by a Stockholm-based law firm on behalf of the rapper’s Project Panther Bidco to Oslo-based media company Schibsted, brokerage firm ABG Sundal Collier, Schibsted finance director Trond Berger, record retailer Platekompaniet and investment firm Ferd, all of which were involved either directly or indirectly in the sale of the former Aspiro/Wimp streaming service to Project Panther Bidco. Schibsted, Platekompaniet and the Verdane Capital VIII fund were the main owners and sellers of Aspiro Wimp.
Jay Z’s firm had submitted a bid for NOK 464 million for the streaming service in January of last year. Jay Z reportedly alleges that the numbers of subscribers to Tidal were lower than the 503,000 reported in January 2015, and that the business was in much poorer economic condition than he’d allegedly been led to believe. Since his Project Panther Bidco took over Tidal, there has been a series of top management changes.
Anders Rikter of Schibsted told DN that Tidal’s former owners can’t understand the complaints from Jay Z. He noted that it was a stocklisted company with available financial documents and subject to public reports. “The buyer also conducted due diligence of the company,” Rikter told DN. Others threatened with compensation claims had no comment, while a spokesman for brokerage firm ABG Sundal Collier told DN the letter from Project Panther Bidco “was extremely general and sent to many opponents, so we will wait and see what comes next.”