Where’s the chaos?
If you were expecting Spotify stock to fluctuate wildly on its first day of trading as it tried to reinvent how companies go public, you were wrong.
Spotify had a fairly unremarkable public debut as the market closed Tuesday, which is a win for the direct listing, given the doomsday scenarios imagined by skeptics of the music company’s plans. Advisers to Spotify were hoping to have enough shareholders willing to buy and sell to make sure that the actual share price didn’t spike and crash rapidly — a real worry, considering Spotify’s novel plan.
About 30 million shares of Spotify’s 178 million outstanding shares traded hands on Tuesday.
The stock price did drop — after opening at about $167 per share, Spotify was trading at about $149 by Tuesday afternoon. Spotify did not have the traditional “pop,” or moderate uptick in stock price, that bankers try to craft to create the impression of positive momentum — though given the strangeness of Spotify’s plan, it’s not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison.
That 10 percent drop shaved about $3 billion off of the company’s value: At the end of the day, Spotify was considered by Wall Street to be a $27 billion company.
Rather than selling new shares to institutional investors just before the stock is buyable by the public, Spotify instead chose to list its existing shares directly on the New York Stock Exchange. That decision could recast the relationship between Silicon Valley and Wall Street, especially if Spotify proves to fare just as well on the market without the traditional help of bankers.
Spotify won’t be judged purely by its first-day results. But it appears that a $27 billion company has gone public — the seventh-biggest U.S. IPO ever — without some of the chaos that naysayers predicted.
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