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Spotify’s Stock Listing Is a String of Question Marks

This is a dangerous judgment to write as a columnist who’s ostensible to have a answers, though here goes: No one knows for certain how Spotify’s not-IPO will transport on Tuesday. 

We’ve been writing for many months about Spotify and a comparatively novel method of apropos a open association by dogmatic a shares accessible to buy and sell openly to all comers. My inbox has filled adult for weeks with offers of “experts” to opine about Spotify or a surprising batch listing. And yet, there are positively essential sum about Spotify’s not-IPO that people outward a association don’t and can’t quietly predict. And in moments of honesty, a people closest to a association would have to acknowledge this, too. 

For starters, no one unequivocally knows during what cost Spotify shares will change hands once a association creates a batch marketplace debut. This is kind of loyal in all new batch listings,


though it’s especially loyal in Spotify’s case. In a initial dual weeks of March, existent Spotify stockholders sold about 5 million shares during prices trimming from about $49 to $132 each, according to a Spotify regulatory document.

Spotify’s Canyon

The cost of Spotify batch sales in private exchange has sundry widely, and a opening widened in March

Source: Spotify disclosures

Notes: Mar batch sales are by Mar 14. Stock exchange bar intercompany transfers Spotify done with Tencent or a affiliates.

Needless to say, that’s a wide operation that offers small discernment into what cost stockholders competence take for their shares when Spotify flips a switch on Tuesday from a secretly hold association to a open one. This operation of batch trade in Mar was even wider than share sales in Jan and February. And that large opening came from existent shareholders of a company, who presumably know some-more than a normal male on a travel about a company’s middle workings or financial prospects. And nonetheless there’s extended dissimilarity among them about a “right” cost for Spotify shares.


With this many feud about a value of a Spotify share, things could get really disorderly on Tuesday. 

Spotify itself valued a association during $50.70 a share a small some-more than a year ago, and $120.50 a share in December, or a marketplace gratefulness of about $22 billion. About half of a calculation of a new share price, Spotify said, was formed on a cost in private batch sales. Although as remarkable above, new private batch sales have constructed furious variations in investors’ value of Spotify shares. 

Even hours before Spotify becomes a open company, a many simple doubt is unanswered: Will a unsanitary batch marketplace masses eyeball Spotify’s (wildly divergent) prior batch trades and confirm those are fair starting points for their possess views of Spotify’s value? Or will they vehemently disagree? 

And no one knows a answer to a associated doubt of how many shares of Spotify will be sold. In a required initial open offering, a association and a bankers confirm forward of time how many shares a association or existent stockholders will sell. This is all managed theatrics, though it’s managed theatrics that are good accepted in a financial world.

To a Moon

In Spotify’s possess valuations of a share price, a company’s value some-more than doubled from early 2017 to a finish of a year

Source: Spotify disclosures

At Spotify, none of that is happening. In theory, scarcely all of a company’s 178 million released shares can be sole on Tuesday. If that happens and Spotify shares trade during a recent company-determined value of $120.50 a share, Spotify’s not-IPO could volume to scarcely $20 billion. That would be bigger than all though a handful of IPOs in history. (In a biggest IPO ever by value of shares sold, Alibaba Group sole about $25 billion in batch in 2014.) 

I’m assured that not any Spotify stockholder will sell on Tuesday, though will it be closer to 0 or to 178 million shares? That’s a question mark. Spotify’s advisers have been polling stream stockholders to determine either they’re meddlesome in offered shares now, and during what price. But if we were a Spotify stockholder, there’s small inducement to tell bankers a truth. If there’s a share cost during that we wish to sell, I’ll only wait until a association is open and someone offers to buy during my dream price, and afterwards I’ll press “sell” on my E*Trade account.