The New York Stock Exchange on Monday set the reference price for shares of music streaming service Spotify Technology SA at $132. Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba Group holds the top spot at $234 billion after its market debut in 2014.
Two American flags and one Swiss flag hung outside the stock exchange on the day of the music streaming company's initial public offering. "This is a large listing, and Spotify has the advantage of a huge consumer base which it can leverage into retail investors". And despite the enormous respect I have for the New York Stock Exchange in this process, I also won't be on the floor doing any interviews'. The Swedish company's use of a "direct listing" allows its early investors and employees to sell as many shares as they want whenever they want.
No Initial Public Offering means that there are no investment banks to underwrite (or sponsor) and price the offering. After losing 1.2 billion euro, Spotify has also made it clear that it intends to remain focused on adding more subscribers instead of making money for now.
In comparison, when Snap Inc, the parent company of Snapchat, went public in an IPO previous year, it paid almost $100m to its team of underwriters. However, a direct listing would be extremely hard for companies who don't have the same name recognition as Spotify. Its first day of trading-with relatively few trades-continued the unusual float.
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A Sony Music spokesperson told MBW yesterday: "Sony Music and The Orchard are committed to sharing with their artists and distributed labels any net gain they may realize from a sale of Sony Music's equity stake in Spotify".
Like many other "unicorn" companies, Spotify has never posted profits.
Spotify's successful debut could pave way for other companies looking to go public without the aid of Wall Street underwriters. Markets are choppy enough right now, particularly in shares of technology companies, following Donald Trump's recent public sabre-rattling against the likes of Amazon.
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Spotify CEO Daniel Ek declined an invitation to ring the opening bell at NYSE.
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