Friday 19 March 2021 12:36 pm

Payments group Wise mulls direct London listing

Payments company Wise, formerly known as Transferwise, is reportedly looking to list in London without selling new shares to investors.

Upheld as one of the UK’s most successful startups, having reached unicorn status in 2015, Wise has long been considered a candidate for an IPO. 

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The fintech, which was most recently valued by private investors at $5bn, is expected to list in the City later this year and has already picked Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as joint co-ordinators. 

However unlike other tech companies preparing for a float, like takeaway giant Deliveroo, Wise is considering a direct listing according to Sky News. 

In a direct listing no new shares are created with a direct listing and only existing, outstanding shares are sold with no underwriters involved. It is rare for tech companies to favour a direct listing as floats are often used to bolster balance sheets. 

Opting for this type of listing would shorten the process and also drastically reduce the fees paid to investment bankers. 

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Wise, alongside Revolut and Deliveroo, were targets of the Treasury’s London listings review which was published earlier this month. The company, which was founded by Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Kaarmann, held talks with the Prime Minister before Christmas. 

Last month the fintech changed its name from Transferwise to Wise which it said reflects the company’s growth. Wise recently launched consumer and business products, akin to a challenger bank, despite Wise still processing £4.5bn cross-border transactions every month.

Last year the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) granted Wise permission to offer savings and investments product which are expected to launch later this year.

Wise was approached for comment.