NYSE, Spotify's market debut, and the Swiss miss

Slideshow ( 3 images )

NEW YORK (Reuters) - When people showed up for Spotify Technology SA’s market debut on Tuesday morning something was amiss: there was a Swiss flag flying in front of the New York Stock Exchange, but the world’s No. 1 streaming music company is based in Sweden.

Within minutes, the NYSE, which is owned by Intercontinental Exchange Inc, noticed the mistake and put up the correct flag, alongside two American flags and beneath a massive Spotify banner, but not before it began trending on social media.

Even the NYSE posted on Twitter about the flap.

“We hope everyone enjoyed our momentary ode to our neutral role in the process of price discovery this morning,” the exchange tweeted, referring to both Switzerland’s historic stance as a neutral country and the exchange’s role in price setting.

Spotify’s debut was unusual in that it was the NYSE’s first direct listing.

That meant Spotify employees and investors were able to sell their shares, but the company was not looking to raise additional capital.

Spotify did not hire investment banks as underwriters and did not undertake an investor road show, as is typical in an IPO.

Instead a market maker collected all of the buy and sell orders and balanced them out to come up with an opening price of $165.90, valuing the world’s No. 1 streaming music service at around $30 billion.

Spotify shares ended the day below their opening price, however.

Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli