Norway's Kahoot to explore secondary U.S. listing: CEO

LONDON (Reuters) - Softbank-backed Kahoot is to explore a secondary listing in New York or another major European exchange as it looks to take advantage of soaring investor demand for growth and tech stocks, its chief executive told Reuters.

The Norwegian e-learning company, which made a switch from Oslo’s junior bourse to its main stock exchange on Thursday, will use the coming months to explore alternative listing options, chief executive Eilert Hanoa told Reuters.

“The universe of investors will be slightly bigger (on the main stock exchange) and will help us prepare for a secondary listing in another European exchange or another part of the world,” Hanoa said.

He added that New York is the most likely venue, but that no decision has been taken on whether or not to proceed with a secondary listing. He declined to comment on the timing of such a potential move.

The company saw business soar after the COVID-19 pandemic forced lockdowns across much of the world in 2020. It has a strong user base in the United States, which accounts for 45% of its revenues.

It completed a $215 million funding round in October last year, with Japan’s SoftBank investing the money, and saw its share price more than double in the remaining months of 2020.

This prompted the plans to switch from the junior Oslo growth exchange to the main Oslo Stock Exchange, a process managed by ABG Sundal Collier and Goldman Sachs.

On the first day of trading on Thursday, the stock was up 4.5% to 110.5 Norwegian crowns, translating to a market cap of 49.16 billion Norwegian crowns ($5.84 billion).

The company did not raise any new money while making the switch, though the move should give it access to more investors should it want to raise money for acquisitions in the future, Hanoa said.

“We have the opportunity to have a capital raise in the future, which will be of relevance for acquisitions and other non-organic initiatives and partnerships,” he said.

For 2021, Kahoot is targeting $90-100 million in invoiced revenues with solid positive cash flow from operations and one million paid subscriptions, a source told Reuters earlier this year.

Apart from SoftBank, the company also counts Datum Group, Glitrafjord and Bank, New York Mellon and Creandum among its major shareholders.

($1 = 8.4232 Norwegian crowns)

Reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama