No parties for Spotify as it sets Wall St date

By John-Paul Ford Rojas, Business Reporter
Spotify is to make its New York stock market debut on 3 April in an unusual direct listing which will see it eschew the usual fanfare associated with big Wall Street flotations.
The disclosure by the world's biggest music streaming service came as it made its pitch to investors in a public webcast ahead of the initial public offering (IPO).
Stockholm-based Spotify had announced the "novel" listing last month, without giving a date.Daniel Ek, the company's 35-year-old co-founder and chief executive, said: "For us, going public has never been about the pomp or circumstance of it all."You won't see us ringing any bells or throwing any parties."Unusually, the company is not issuing new shares as in a traditional IPO. Instead, it will allow existing stockholders to trade their shares on the public market.Mr Ek said: "Since Spotify isn't selling any stock in the listing, we're really entirely focused on the long-term performance of the business."Spotify will also avoid the cost of hiring Wall Street underwriters - investment banks that take on risk in an IPO by guaranteeing a set number of shares will be sold at a specific price.Because it is not issuing any new shares, it has not set a listing price - which can be used to determine the valuation of a company.
However, according to Reuters estimates the business is valued at roughly $19bn.Spotify's presentation to investors set out how it planned to grow and fend off larger rivals such as Apple and Amazon.They include investing in work with vehicle makers to be able to integrate Spotify into car audio systems.The company had 71 million subscribers at the end of 2017, with 92 million using its free, advertising-supported service.That makes it the market leader, ahead of Apple with 38 million paying users.
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Spotify said its revenues grew 39% to €4.09bn in 2017 but the cost of financing left its bottom line firmly in the red, with operating losses widening by 8% to €378m.The company said: "Operating losses have grown with revenue, but the trend towards profitability is clear when you look at operating losses as a percentage of revenue."
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