independent

Friday 18 April 2014

Spotify vacancy advert sparks rumours of IPO

Spotify MD Adam Williams at the Dublin Web Summit
Spotify MD Adam Williams at the Dublin Web Summit

ONLINE music streaming service Spotify is recruiting a US financial reporting specialist, adding to speculation that the Swedish start-up is preparing for a share listing, which one banker said could value the firm at as much as $8bn (€5.8bn).

Meeting US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) standards for filing financial disclosures is essential for any firm planning to go public and bankers and lawyers said they inferred from the job ad that the company was getting ready for an initial public share offering (IPO), possibly next year.

Streaming and on-demand music have soared in popularity alongside smartphone use, though such services have so far struggled to make profits due to the cost of royalty fees.

A Spotify IPO would be one of the most eagerly anticipated global tech IPOs.

The job advertisement, posted on Spotify's website and on LinkedIn, said the successful candidate – an External Reporting Specialist – would be required to "prepare the company for SEC filing standards. Spotify declined to comment on whether it has IPO plans. Founder and CEO Daniel Ek has previously played down a listing to Swedish media, saying he was keen to keep the company private. But strong investor sentiment and buoyant tech shares have fuelled speculation by bankers and industry players about a possible listing.

Following a botched debut by Facebook, shares in the social media network have soared nearly 8pc; while Twitter shares are up almost 30pc since its November IPO.

Spotify raised $250m in a funding round in November, making it one of the world's most richly capitalised start-ups. Corporate filings for 2012 show the company more than doubled revenue that year to $435m, but had a net loss of $58.7m.

Irish Independent

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