Twitter Said to Lean Toward NYSE for IPO Listing
Twitter Inc. (TWTR), the microblogging service, is leaning toward listing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange as it prepares for an initial public offering, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
A final decision hasn’t been made, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private. Twitter said earlier this month in a 140-character message known as a Tweet that it confidentially filed for an IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company’s plans set off a horse race for the high-profile market debut, and nabbing the IPO would help NYSE Euronext solidify its allure among young technology companies after years of playing catch-up with Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. For Nasdaq, winning Twitter’s IPO would represent a chance to recover from the technical gaffes that plagued Facebook Inc. (FB)’s debut last year.
Twitter picking NYSE would “fall on the heels of some very bad mojo for Nasdaq,” said David Weiss, a New York-based analyst at financial industry researcher Aite Group LLC.
Twitter said on Sept. 12 that it has submitted paperwork to go public, without providing details on timing or how much it plans to raise. Twitter filed confidentially under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS, Act, allowing the company to keep its financials under wraps until three weeks before marketing the offering to investors.
The Street previously reported that Twitter has picked NYSE for its listing.
Rob Madden, a spokesman for Nasdaq, declined to comment. NYSE Euronext and Nasdaq run the exchanges where almost all U.S. companies list their stock.
Facebook’s 2012 IPO, won by Nasdaq, was plagued by malfunctioning software at the exchange, which delayed the start of trading and prevented some orders from going through. Nasdaq paid $10 million to settle regulatory charges that the error violated securities laws.
While Nasdaq has dominated technology listings in the past, winning everything from Intel Corp. (INTC), Apple Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. to Google Inc., NYSE has established itself as a challenger in the most recent wave of offerings. Since mid-2011, LinkedIn Corp., Pandora Media Inc., Yelp Inc., Workday Inc., Palo Alto Networks Inc. and Tableau Software Inc. have all listed on NYSE.
Separately, Oracle Corp., the software maker with a $154 billion market valuation, moved its stock listing to NYSE from Nasdaq in July.
“I get asked all the time, ‘Oh, wasn’t that great for you guys?’” he said. “It wasn’t great for anybody who cares about the capital markets. It was a high-profile IPO that, unfortunately, wasn’t handled in the way that it should’ve been handled.”
Winning the Twitter listing would provide a financial gain in addition to the prestige. Listing fees and related services made up about a fifth of 2012 net revenue for both exchanges. At NYSE, that amounted to $448 million of its $2.32 billion in revenue, and for Nasdaq fee-related sales contributed $375 million of the company’s $1.66 billion in net revenue.