Two potential buyers of troubled French music streaming service Qobuz have presented their takeover bids to the Commercial Court in Paris. The Court will make its final decision on 29th December.
"Two offers remain in contention, both of which present serious guarantees for the continuation of Qobuz's activity," the company says. "It seems very likely that Qobuz will be able to turn the page on that day and we will start 2016 with strong hopes of renewal and expansion."
"We are sincerely relieved regarding the strength of the proposals that have been made by both [potential] buyers in terms of safeguarding employment, which is an important indicator of what we strongly believe will be an ambitious continuity of the Qobuz servcie in its curent format."
Despite offering CD-quality streaming, Qobuz has struggled against rival streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal and Apple Music in an increasingly crowded market.
Qobuz was one of the first to launch a CD-quality streaming service, since followed - with much greater fanfare - by the likes of Tidal. Sadly, it seems better-quality tracks hasn't been enough of a draw.
The company, which offers music downloads as well as a streaming service, has been placed in receivership. French newspaper Le Figaro carried a statement from Qobuz founder and CEO, Yves Riesel: "No back-up plan has been submitted and no investor has expressed concrete interest during the observation period, which made the receivership inevitable."
A spokesman for Qobuz confirmed to What Hi-Fi? that while there was no interest in the company in the back-up period between August 2014 and September 2015, there was now "substantial interest in taking over Qobuz in its current form".
Qobuz had forecast a turnover of €7.4m euros for 2015. Earlier this year, the company launched the Qobuz Sublime hybrid download/streaming subscription plan and brought the Qobuz app to Android. Qobuz also recently launched on selected Cabasse and Sony AV products.
Qobuz has launched a petition (which anyone can sign) calling on the French minister of economy and finance, Mr. Macron, and the culture and communications minister, Ms. Pellerin, to act to save the company. There's also a blog post from the Qobuz CEO, which outlines why he thinks you should support the service.
Qobuz has promised to keep existing subscribers in the loop. A post on the Qobuz site says: "To our customers and subscribers, we ask that you not turn away from our service, but rather support us by continuing to purchase downloads and/or subscriptions on Qobuz. This support will be very important in ensuring the spirit of Qobuz is upheld and fostered as we move forward."
In the event of Qobuz ceasing operation, 12-month subscribers will be reimbursed any outstanding amount. You can read more about the situation on the Qobuz blog.
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