Spotify makes IPO at $132 a share, for value of $23.5B

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              Mar 31 2018

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Direct listings are typically used for smaller launches, such as for a company emerging from bankruptcy or a public company's spinoff listing shares.

The company traded between $48.93 and $132 a share over the past year through private transactions.

It now has 71 million so-called premium subscribers, including users who have given the company a credit card number for a free trial.

Spotify said it's focused on a long-term plan to continue growth.

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A Swedish-founded company, Spotify is taking a very unique approach to trading on the Stock Exchange, by trading shares for whatever investors feel they are worth, rather than selling them for fixed price in order to instigate a financial windfall.

RIAA reported that music revenues grew 12.6 percent to $5.9 billion in 2017, thanks in large part to paid music subscription services such as Spotify, Pandora, AppleMusic, Amazon and others. Spotify is the biggest company to ever go public via direct listing, and the first on the NYSE.

"It's an untested process", said Matt Kennedy, IPO market strategist for Renaissance Capital LLC, an investment research firm.

Analysts expected the company to be valued at around $23bn but have warned that its direct listing could lead to volatile swings in its value as the market decides its future prospects. Its employees and investors do not face the same restrictions on when they can sell their stock, for example.

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Ek said his company made a decision to skip the IPO phase because he wasn't interested in "the pomp and circumstance".

The initial public offering (IPO) of the world's largest music streaming company is one of the most hotly anticipated in years and comes as other similarly loss-making tech titans are also shopping for exchanges to host their share sales. The only problem was, they rose the flag of Switzerland instead. The decision to direct list the stock instead of performing an IPO came as a surprise to many in the finance sector and could signal a new era of Wall Street reform. But what's even more important to me is that tomorrow does not become the most important day for Spotify. The stock market has also been volatile recently with the Dow Jones industrial average falling more than 450 points, or almost 2 percent, Monday. There is a possibility that Spotify stock will end up much higher today, however, as MarketWatch reports that signs point to a price closer to $155 or $160 per share. It will not have some of the safeguards traditionally provided by investment banks, which try to prevent new stock from following below a certain price.

"In normal IPOs, the underwriters stabilize the price - they put a floor under the price below which the stock price won't fall, because the underwriters will buy it at that price".

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