June 19, 2019 / 9:31 PM / 4 months ago

Slack reference price for direct listing set at $26/share

Slack Technologies New York office in this undated photo released from Slack Technologies Inc, in San Francisco, California, U.S., on June 19, 2019. Courtesy Slack Technologies Inc/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

(Reuters) - The New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday set the reference price for Slack Technologies Inc’s direct listing at $26 per share.

At this price, the owner of the workplace instant messaging app is valued at around $16 billion.

Slack, which will list its shares directly on the NYSE on Thursday, is the second high profile technology company after Spotify Technology SA to shun a traditional listing.

The reference price is not an offering price, the NYSE notice said. The opening public price will be determined by buy and sell orders collected by the NYSE from broker-dealers.

Slack’s direct listing could further pave the way for companies looking to go public without the help of Wall Street underwriters who charge millions of dollars in fees.

The company offers an internet-based platform that allows teams and businesses to communicate with each other and directly competes with Microsoft Corp’s Teams.

San Francisco-based Slack, whose customers include Electronic Arts Inc, Nordstrom Inc and Ford Motor Co, has around 600,000 organizations using its service, and 95,000 paid customers.

Reporting by Ankit Ajmera in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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