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Slack’s direct listing reference price set at $26 today

The company has eschewed the traditional IPO in favor of early investors selling shares directly to the public.

Slack’s direct listing reference price set at $26 today
[Photo: Christin Hume/Unsplash]

The New York Stock Exchange has set the reference price for Slack shares, which go on sale today, at $26, reports CNBC. Slack’s shares will be traded under the ticker symbol “WORK.” However, though Slack shares will go on sale to the public today, this isn’t a traditional IPO most tech companies are so fond of.

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Slack’s initial share sale is instead what’s known as a direct listing. Direct listings enable existing private investors in a company to sell their shares to the public directly, whereas an IPO sees a company create new shares and sell those shares to raise new capital. This direct listing allows a company’s private owners to immediately offload their shares by selling directly to the public.

Slack isn’t the first tech company to do a direct listing instead of an IPO. Last year Spotify opted to do a direct listing of its shares over a traditional IPO. At that time, Spotify’s direct listing reference price was set at $132. Slack is expected to be worth as much as $17 billion once shares start trading today.

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About the author

Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books. You can read more about him at MichaelGrothaus.com

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