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Deezer Explores U.S. Partnerships Amid Push Into New Territories

Deezer Inc., the French online music service that operates in 182 countries, may expand into the U.S. in a bid to capture more American artists.

The company is in talks with potential U.S. partners, which may include distribution and media companies, Chief Executive Officer Axel Dauchez said today in an interview.

“It’s definitely a big market; it’s a way to talk to a lot of the main artists which have an international scope,” Dauchez said in Deezer’s booth at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

Deezer has 26 million customers in 182 countries after a $130 million injection from billionaire Len Blavatnik last year facilitated a push into Brazil, Africa and the Middle East. That’s up from 76 countries four months ago. The most interesting places for expansion this year are in Eastern Europe and Latin America, Dauchez said.

Deezer’s online music service, supported by ads and premium subscriptions, competes with Spotify Ltd. and Pandora Media Inc. (P) The company has grown through partnerships with social- networking site Facebook Inc. (FB) as well as tie-ups with mobile- phone operators such as Deutsche Telekom (DTE)’s T-Mobile, France Telecom SA (FTE)’s Orange and EE.

The company is also preparing to announce new partnerships with global automotive companies and to add classical music to its offering, Dauchez said.

Deezer will probably sell shares in an initial public offering in the future, he said, adding that the timing would depend on market conditions.

To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at athomson6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net

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