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NYSE Plans for Direct Listings That Offer Capital-Raising Option

Lananh Nguyen

(Bloomberg) -- The New York Stock Exchange will let companies raise capital through a primary share sale alongside direct listings.

The proposal would enable a company that chooses a direct listing to also raise capital in an opening auction on the first day of trading, provided it sells a minimum of $250 million in market value of shares, NYSE said Tuesday in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Direct listings have been touted by Silicon Valley startups and venture capital firms in recent months as an alternative to initial public offerings.

“We’re always looking to evolve our offerings to meet the demands of the marketplace,” John Tuttle, NYSE’s vice chairman and chief commercial officer, said by phone. Still, “we don’t think this is going to displace the traditional IPO, we just want to create another pathway for companies to come to the public market.”

Under a direct listing, a company makes its shares available for trading on a stock exchange without the formalities of a traditional IPO. That means no road show, no underwriter and no offering price, Tuttle wrote in a blog post in June. Slack Technologies Inc. and Spotify Technology SA have taken that route.

NYSE’s rival, Nasdaq Inc., is working with the SEC on the potential for companies to raise capital via a direct listing, Nelson Griggs, president of the Nasdaq Stock Exchange, said at an event last week.

--With assistance from Rachel Evans.

To contact the reporter on this story: Lananh Nguyen in New York at lnguyen35@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael J. Moore at mmoore55@bloomberg.net, Steve Dickson, Steven Crabill

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