Twitter Inc., the microblogging service with more than 200 million members, added Allen & Co. and Code Advisors LLC to the group of underwriters managing its initial public offering, people with knowledge of the process said.
Twitter, which on Sept. 12 disclosed its plans to go public, added the boutique firms to the existing lineup of Wall Street investment banks handling its share sale, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the decision isn’t public. The company will make a public S-1 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this week, they said.
The banks will help sell shares in one of the largest and most-scrutinized technology IPOs since social-media rival Facebook Inc. went public last year. Allen & Co. and Code Advisors are typically brought in because they have strong relationships with long-term investors, said Francis Gaskins, president of Marina Del Rey, California-based researcher IPOdesktop.com, which monitors initial sales.
“What they’re trying to do is get the investors who may not flip the stock,” Gaskins said in a telephone interview. “Boutique banks have a chance of putting them in stronger hands that will hold it longer.”
Twitter’s service lets users and advertisers post 140-character updates to followers on the Web and through mobile applications. The San Francisco-based company, which will go public this year, hasn’t yet decided on the valuation and size of the offering, said one of the people.
Gabriel Stricker, a spokesman for Twitter, declined to comment. Representatives for Allen & Co. and Code Advisors weren’t reachable for comment.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is Twitter’s lead underwriter, followed by Deutsche Bank AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Bank of America Corp., other people close to the situation have said. After Twitter makes its S-1 filing public, investors will have a minimum of 21 days to review the document before the company embarks on a roadshow to market the shares, according to SEC rules.
Allen & Co., the New York-based boutique advisory firm founded by Herb Allen, also worked on Facebook’s IPO. Twitter Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo and Jack Dorsey, the company’s co-founder and chairman, have attended Allen & Co.’s summer gathering of media and Internet moguls in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Code Advisors, based in San Francisco and co-founded by Quincy Smith, Michael Marquez and Fred Davis, received a $25 million investment from JPMorgan last year.
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