Following Wise’s announcement earlier this month that it planned to go public through a direct listing on the LSE, today the company formalized the news with a regulatory filing. The London-based company – formerly known as TransferWise and mainly specializing in transferring money between different currencies – with 10 million users said it plans to sign up “in early July 2021” but didn’t has not provided further details on the price of its Class A shares, in line with how direct ad listings work. . It has been reported, however, that the plan is for the assessment to be in the range of 6 to 7 billion dollars with the list.
(Overall, Wise has implemented a dual-class share structure with two classes of shares outstanding, class A shares and class B shares, to support Wise’s focus on its mission as it transitions to the public procurement, he noted. Class B shares are not negotiable.)
“The Company will not set a price for class A shares or offer class A shares for direct listing,” he noted in the statement. “The opening price of class A shares will be determined during the opening auction on the Admission date. While direct listings have taken off somewhat as a way for tech companies to go public in the United States – a trend led by another European juggernaut, Spotify – it’s a new turn for the LSE, which published its own new rules on the process the same day Wise announced his plans.
In the meantime, we can watch for more details on the public offering, and updates on the business of the company, will be issued in a prospectus and other related statements in the days and weeks to come.
Bypassing the big investment banks and the associated roadshow of a more conventional listing can be a bold move, which companies wishing to avoid the volatility and engagement of this process might choose to take if they feel they have enough momentum. to enter the market directly. . In his statement today, Wise hinted that there had been early interest, based on his part offers Wise customers.
“I am happy to confirm our plans for a direct listing in London. This process will expand ownership of Wise, in support of our mission to move money around the world faster, cheaper and more easily, ”said Kristo Käärmann, CEO and co-founder of Wise, in a note. in the press release. “Since announcing our expected intention to issue last week, we have had over 60,000 expressions of interest in our client shareholder program, OwnWise, which is designed to reward clients who buy Wise shares and stay with us long term. This direct listing aims to further align our mission and our shareholder base and I am extremely proud that clients want to be a part of it.
Wise has been one of the great fintech success stories from Europe and London – founded by Estonians Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus, the company is based in London and has stuck to that even during all the financial turmoil of Brexit . Its 10 million clients currently process around $ 7 billion (£ 5 billion) in cross-border transactions each month, which remains its core business even as it diversifies into new, related areas of financial services. In its most recent fiscal year, Wise’s revenue reached $ 586 million, up from $ 422 million. That’s $ 57million (£ 41million) in pre-tax profit, and the company says it has been profitable since 2017.
Class B shares will hold 9 votes per share, are strictly non-transferable and, among other voting cancellation events, expire on the fifth anniversary of any listing, the company confirmed. Wise shareholders and holders of options vested on May 23, 2021 are entitled to elect to receive 50% of their holding in Class A shares in the Company with additional corresponding Class B shares on a 1: 1 basis ( with the exception of Kristo Käärmann, CEO and co-founder of Wise, who has the right to elect to receive 100% of his participation in class A shares in the Company with additional corresponding class B shares on a basis of 1 : 1), he added.
“The voting rights attached to class B shares are, subject to certain regulatory approvals, capped so that no shareholder may, by virtue of the class B shares he holds, express more than one vote unless 35% of the eligible votes with regard to any shareholder decision (with the exception of Kristo Käärmann who, as long as he is CEO of the Company, will be capped with regard to his class B shares with one vote less than 50% of the eligible votes with regard to any shareholder decision and if, at any time, he is not the CEO of the Company, he will be limited to less than 35% of the eligible votes with regard to any shareholder decision). Class B shares are not negotiable and will not be listed.