Spotify seeks to hire U.S. filings expert as bankers eye IPO

STOCKHOLM Mon Feb 17, 2014 9:30am EST

STOCKHOLM Feb 17 (Reuters) - Online music streaming service Spotify is recruiting a U.S. financial reporting specialist, adding to speculation that the Swedish start-up is preparing for a share listing, which one banker said could value the firm at $8 billion.

Meeting U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) standards for filing financial disclosures are essential for any firm planning to go public and bankers and lawyers said they inferred from the job ad that the company is getting ready for an initial public share offer (IPO), possibly next year.

"It looks like they are preparing themselves for an IPO," said one corporate finance lawyer, who is not advising the firm.

The job advertisement, posted on Spotify's website and on LinkedIn, said the successful candidate would be required to "prepare the company for SEC filing standards. Set up all reports necessary to be SEC compliant."

Spotify declined to comment on whether it has plans for an IPO.

"As Spotify grows and becomes a more mature company we are looking for people who can help us keep our financial reporting in order and up to global standards," a spokesman said.

Spotify raised $250 million in a funding round in November, making it one of the world's most richly capitalised start-ups.

One investment banker said that last year's fundraising meant the company would probably focus on further expansion so that it could go to the market with a flotation next year, by when the company could be valued at as much as $7 billion to $8 billion.

He said it would be advisable to employ expertise in filing the company's accounts to listing standards well in advance of any flotation.

"They would need such a person, and to make sure that person is settled in, in order for it to be possible to list the company in the United States next year."