Hip-hop star Jay-Z is in the process of buying Scandinavian music streaming firm Aspiro for $56m (£37m), according to reports.

Project Panther Bidco, a company owned by Jay-Z, told Reuters that it had made a cash offer to shareholders of the Swedish company.

The 45-year-old rapper, whose real name is Shawn Corey Carter, already owns a business empire that spans clothing, sports bars and beauty products.

Moving into the music streaming business puts Jay-Z in direct competition with Spotify and Beats Music, the streaming service bought by Apple last year as part of a $3bn acquisition of Beats Electronics.

Project Panther described Aspiro as "an innovative high-quality company with strong future growth potential".

According to the company's last financial statements, Aspiro had 512,000 paying subscribers for its WiMP service.

In a statement released on Friday (30 January), the firm revealed that the acceptance period for the offer is expected to commence on 19 February and will expire on 11 March.

"Commencement of settlement is expected to begin approximately one week after the expiry of the acceptance period," the statement read.

"The offer is, inter alia, conditional upon that it is accepted to the extent that Panther becomes the owner of more than 90% of the total number of shares in Aspiro and that Panther receives the necessary regulatory approvals for the acquisition."

Aspiro's closing share price on 29 January was SEK 0.66 (£0.05), while Project Panther's offer values each share at SEK 1.05.