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Slack to bypass traditional IPO with direct listing



Slack, the messaging app at the workplace, intends to bypass the traditional route to an initial public offering by directly listing its actions.

People informed about the strategy of the San Francisco company have said they want to offer ordinary investors a chance to bet on their future growth.

Slack, which plans to become public in the second quarter of this year, will follow in the footsteps of Spotify, which listed last year on the New York Stock Exchange through a direct quote, the traditional process of a & # 39; initial public offering.

Unlike a conventional IPO, companies that become public through a direct quote do not sell new shares to raise funds, which makes the process unsustainable for many companies seeking public ownership.

which was valued at $ 7.1

billion in its latest fundraising in August, is one of several high-value technology companies – along with riding the Uber and Lyft apps that plan to become public in 2019.

Slack's management said he wanted to use a direct quote because he thought it would be a cheaper and more efficient way to make public.

The company, whose investors include SoftBank's Vision Fund, Dragoneer Investment Group and General Atlantic, has been working with investment banks Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Allen & Co for direct quotation. However, it is unlikely that the banks will subscribe to the offer as they would traditionally do in an IPO, allowing Slack to save on commissions but leaving it vulnerable to volatility.

Spotify paid its three financial advisers, the same team that Slack deployed, about $ 35 million in taxes. In comparison, Snap, the owner of the Snapchat messaging app, paid his subscribers about $ 100 million.

The direct quotation method was not unprecedented before Spotify, but it was the largest and highest profile company to experience such an approach in the United States.

Bankers said other companies could follow Spotify, but direct listings are probably only feasible for well-known companies that manage assets that institutional and retail investors can know and use.

Slack was co-founded in 2014 by Stewart Butterfield and Cal Henderson, who worked on the Flickr photo site.

Spotify shares were trading at $ 119.50 a Friday in New York, down nearly 30% from $ 165.90 a they opened on the NYSE last April and down 9.5 percent compared to a reference price of $ 132 in view of public trade.

Slack, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley declined to comment. Allen & Co officials were not immediately available for comment. Plans for a direct quote have been reported for the first time by the Wall Street Journal.


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