Dual-class shares: Is competition for hot listings spurring liberal stance?

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SINGAPORE (April 16): On April 3, shares in music streaming service Spotify began trading on the New York Stock Exchange, following a listing exercise that tested the market’s appetite for tech stocks in several ways.

The Swedish company did not hold an IPO of its shares, and there was no bookbuilding. Instead, the NYSE set a reference price for its shares, based on the price of transactions in the private market. In addition, once sold, the shares now being traded in the public market will not entitle their holders to much say in how Spotify is run. Founders Daniel Ek and Martin Lorentzon hold special beneficiary certificates that will give them almost total control of the company.

None of this seems to have dampened enthusiasm in the market for Spotify. On April 3, the stock closed at US$149.01, much higher than the reference price of US$132. And, it has continued climbing since then. On April 11, it closed at US$149.57, valuing the loss-making company that was founded in 2006 at US$24.6 billion... (Click here to read the full story)