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Wise to go public in London via direct listing

By Caoimhe Toman

Date: Thursday 17 Jun 2021

Wise to go public in London via direct listing

(Sharecast News) - British financial technology firm Wise announced on Thursday it is planning to go public on the London Stock Exchange through the first ever direct listing on the bourse.
Wise said it was seeking a direct listing rather than an initial public offering as it doesn't need to raise any fresh capital, eliminating the need for underwriters or of issuing new shares.

The company also argued that it was a fairer, cheaper and more transparent way of broadening ownership in the firm.

Nonetheless, Wise also said it was opting for a dual class share structure, which gave founders and early backers more control..

Two classes of shares would be issued, class A and class B, with the latter entitling their holders to nine votes per share.

"Wise is used to challenging conventions, and this listing is no exception," said Kristo Kaarmann, CEO and co-founder of Wise.

"We're ten years into building a new way to move money around the world - faster, cheaper, easier and completely transparent. A direct listing allows us a cheaper and more transparent way to broaden Wise's ownership, aligned with our mission."

At present, approximately 10.0m clients use Wise's money transfer service each month with a transaction volume of around £5.0bn.

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