Telia more than doubles its money by selling Spotify shares

03 April 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

Telia has sold all its shares in Spotify for a healthy profit just days ahead of the music streaming service listing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

Stockholm-based Telia was the first carrier to partner with Spotify, also a Swedish company, and in 2015 it took a 1.4% stake for $115 million, a decision that then valued Spotify at $8.2 billion.

Telia has sold that stake in several tranches, worth a total of $272 million, a price that is exactly in line with the expected valuation of Spotify’s shares once they are available to the public.

“Spotify has been a fantastic investment for Telia Company, both from a direct return and a partnership perspective,” said CEO Johan Dennelind.

Spotify’s shares are due to be listed today, though it is not offering new shares – so the process is unusual in that there is not an initial public offering (IPO) of new shares. However the listing will allow investors to put a public value on their holdings.

According to a number of reports, Spotify’s founders were told in February that the company was worth around $20 billion – 2.4 times the value implied by Telia’s investment in the company 2015. Telia also said, when announcing the sale of the last of its Spotify shares, that the sale price was 2.4 times the acquisition price in 2015.

However investors are expecting some volatility in the Spotify share price in the coming months.