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Spotify’s Oddball IPO: 3 Things to Know Before You Buy

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Spotify is going public, but it’s doing so in an unusual way that poses some risks for would-be investors. The Swedish music-streaming company filed confidential documents in late December with the Securities and Exchange Commission to list its stock on the New York Stock Exchange. Spotify plans to debut in the next few months.

So what’s the twist, and what are the risks?

Spotify will skip the traditional method of going public — the initial public offering, or IPO — and instead list its shares directly on the exchange. Spotify is not looking to raise cash from its debut by using an investment bank to sell newly issued shares, the typical IPO process. Rather, in a direct listing, a company’s insiders — early employees and backers — sell...

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