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Spotify makes confidential filing for U.S. IPO: source

From Reuters - January 3, 2018

NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Music streaming service Spotify has filed confidentially with U.S. regulators for an initial public offering and is targeting a direct listing in the first half of 2018 that would allow some longtime investors to cash out, a source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.

If Spotify, which was valued at as much as $19 billion last year, goes ahead with its plans, it would be the first major company to carry out a direct listing, an unconventional way to pursue an IPO without raising new capital.

A direct listing mainly eliminates the need for a Wall Street bank or broker to underwrite an IPO along with many associated fees and could change the way companies approach selling shares to the public.

The confidential filing was initially reported by news outlet Axios.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission expanded the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act last year by allowing all companies, regardless of revenue, to file a draft IPO registration statement confidentially before they unveil financials publicly.

Spotify is the biggest global music streaming company and counts Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) as its main rivals. Reuters has previously reported Spotify was aiming to file for an IPO in late 2017 and list with the New York Stock Exchange early this year.

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