Tencent Music Entertainment Group (TME), a unit of internet giant Tencent, is expanding its business scope with a deal to buy Lazy Audio, a Chinese provider of audio entertainment including audiobooks, comedies, podcasts and radio shows.
New York-listed TME has agreed to acquire 100% of Shenzhen Lanren Online Technology, owner of Lazy Audio, for 2.7 billion yuan ($416 million), according to a company statement released on Friday.
The deal, which is expected to close in the first half of this year, will be largely paid for with cash, and Lazy Audio’s management team will get post-acquisition equity-settled awards, the statement said.
TME’s stock closed up 2.35% at $22.21 on Friday.
The announcement comes as TME deepens its strategic partnerships with some of the world’s most famous record labels like Universal Music Group for rights to distribute their music content across its music streaming platforms including QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music as well as its online karaoke platform WeSing.
Nine-year-old Lazy Audio makes money through a number of channels including offering premium content, subscriptions and advertising, and boasts “strong user interactions and engagement,” according to the statement.
“Lazy Audio’s catalog is set to expand our audio content library, and its recording capacity will significantly boost our production of audiobooks,” said TME CEO Cussion Pang.
TME’s expansion into audio products comes two weeks after Alibaba announced plans to close its 12-year-old music streaming service Xiami Music in February due to difficulties securing music copyrights.
– This article originally appeared on Caixin Global.