ABBA members sell shares in perpetuity to Anderson firm

Stockholm, 6th November 1984

The split between the four members of ABBA and group’s founder-business manager, Stikkan (Stig) Anderson, is now final. Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Agnetha Fältskog sold their shares in group’s and Anderson’s jointly owned Polar Music some time ago; now Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson have sold theirs, too.

Buyer in both rounds was Stig Anderson’s Sweden Music, one of Scandinavia’s biggest music publishing companies. Polar is a Sweden Music subsidiary. No sum has been disclosed, but when ABBA were at the height of their fame, Polar was listed on the Stockholm stock exchange as one of the nation’s richest music companies, with a 1977 net profit of $US10,000,000 on its turnover.

Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson have just seen their musical (with Tim Rice), Chess, open in London. Ulvaeus has settled in England and is thus no longer allowed (by Swedish law) to own shares in a Swedish company. Anderson says he wants to free himself of all business entanglements related to the ABBA name and achievements.

Everybody denies that the split is not an amicable one, but it is well known that there have been disagreements about recent Polar policy in recording new talent. Ten years have passed since Anderson brought his new group to fame and fortune via a European song contest win with their song Waterloo.

Sweden Music has, under Anderson’s management, bought up several minor music publishing houses. Via Polar, Anderson also owns 10% of AB Svensk Film (SF), Sweden’s ruling film production, exhibition and distribution company.

Variety (New York) · Wednesday, 7 November 1984 (Page 92)

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