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John C. Coffee Jr.

Spotify is proceeding with the first “Underwriter-less” IPO that the New York Stock Exchange has seen in modern times.[1] Will it attract other “unicorns”?[2] Spotify has made a confidential filing of its registration statement with the SEC and intends to use a novel procedure known as a “direct listing,” which means that it will issue no new shares and only list the shares it previously issued in private placements or other exempt offerings. Eager to accommodate Spotify, the NYSE has filed proposed amendments to its listing rules with the SEC (and twice amended this filing, most recently in December).[3] Apparently, the SEC has signaled its readiness to approve the proposed NYSE rule changes (which largely mirror the rules for direct listings on Nasdaq[4]). Barring some last minute difficulty with the SEC, the NYSE new rules are scheduled to be approved by mid-February, and the offering will be in March or April.

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