Podcaster Audioboom hits right note with Singapore investor

Tuesday 13th October 2020 21:30 BST

Sky News has learnt that Audioboom Group, which counts the wealthy property entrepreneur Nick Candy among its major shareholders, has agreed to sell a 10% stake to an Asian-based investor.

City sources said the stake was being placed with One Nine Two, a Singapore-based company focused on technology-oriented growth companies.

They added that Peter Antonioni, the controlling investor in One Nine Two, was paying 225p-a-share for the Audioboom holding - a premium of more than 20% to Tuesday's closing price of 177.5p.

The deal will raise roughly £3m for Audioboom, which plans to invest the proceeds in developing original content as it moves towards a break-even position in early 2021.

The placing comes eight months after Audioboom was effectively put up for sale as part of a strategic review aimed at identifying opportunities to accelerate its growth.

Audioboom has a market capitalisation of just £24m, making it a minnow by stock market standards, but board members believe it is substantially undervalued by the public markets as advertisers shift more of their spending to podcasting platforms during the coronavirus pandemic.

The company's array of podcasts include content from The Spectator magazine, the former rugby player Lewis Moody and Sue Perkins, the broadcaster.

In total, it has more than 13,000 'content channels', which are listened to more than 60m times every month.

The sale process is understood to have drawn interest from a number of multinational media companies, but did not yield a firm offer at a price that was attractive to directors or shareholders, according to insiders.

In February, Audioboom announced that it had secured a $4m loan from a vehicle owned jointly by Candy Ventures and Michael Tobin, the podcaster's chairman.

Mr Tobin transformed Telecity, a data centre operator, into a multibillion pound company, before stepping down in 2014.

The company said in July that half-year revenues had increased by 20% to $11.8m, which it said represented an outperformance compared with the US podcasting industry.

The latest developments come more than two years after Audioboom came close to collapse following the abandonment of a £130m reverse takeover of Triton Digital, an American rival.

Many media analysts believe that the podcasting sector has begun a long-term phase of rapid growth amid shifting media consumption habits.

Earlier this year, Spotify bought The Ringer, a sports podcaster boasting more than 100 million monthly downloads.

Audioboom could not be reached for comment on Tuesday evening.

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