Amazon and Spotify considering deals for London-listed podcaster Audioboom | Economic news

Amazon and Spotify are considering rival takeover approaches for Audioboom, the London-listed podcasting group that has seen its revenue and share price soar during the pandemic.

Sky News has learned that the two digital giants have been exploring deals for Audioboom in recent weeks and could decide to make formal offers as early as this month.

Amazon reportedly worked with investment bankers at JP Morgan on its potential interest in Audioboom.

City sources said today an approach from Amazon or Spotify was likely to be offered at a significant premium to Friday’s closing price of £17.60.

Audioboom now has a market capitalization of more than £275million, having seen its shares more than quintuple in the past year.

A person familiar with the situation warned that a formal approach from the two digital giants may yet not materialize and that it was unclear how public disclosure of their potential interest would affect their intentions.

An offer from Spotify would come at an important time for the New York-listed company

The new wave of interest in Audioboom underscores the growing importance of podcasting as a standalone multimedia asset.

The London-listed company counts Casefile True Crime from the US and Cycling Podcast from the UK among the partners it provides business services to through its advertising technology – or adtech – platform.

Its Audioboom Studios division produces content such as F1: Beyond the Grid and What Makes a Killer.

A recent business update from the company revealed that revenue rose 125% to $60.2 million in the year to December 31.

It also posted its first annual adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $3 million, a significant milestone for the company.

Stuart Last, the company’s managing director, described it as “a phenomenal year”.

In total, his shows are downloaded 116 million times each month by 32 million unique listeners worldwide and rank fourth in the ranking of US podcasters.

An offer from Spotify would come at an important time for the New York-listed company, which is grappling with the fallout from the COVID disinformation spreader by Joe Roganone of its most commercially significant contributors.

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Founded by Daniel Ek, Spotify has a market value of over $31 billion.

For Amazon, an acquisition of Audioboom would also make strategic sense, given its previous purchase of podcasting platform Wondery, which was reportedly valued at around $300 million.

A number of other multinational media groups have also reportedly considered approaching Audioboom for a takeover.

Last September, All Active Asset Capital, a London-listed asset manager, canceled an offer that would have valued the British podcaster at £12 a share.

Audioboom had called off a sale process in October 2020 when it was valued by the stock market at just £24m.

The London-listed company has a private investment vehicle founded by the real estate entrepreneur Nick Candy among its main shareholders with a bet of around 15pc.

Amazon declined to comment on Sunday, while Audioboom could not be reached for comment and Spotify did not respond to a request for comment.

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