March 29, 2018 / 8:44 PM / a year ago

Sweden's Telia sells Spotify stake ahead of listing

FILE PHOTO: Headphones are seen in front of a logo of online music streaming service Spotify, February 18, 2014 REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish telecoms operator Telia (TELIA.ST) has sold all its Spotify shares for $272 million to institutional investors ahead of the streaming company’s listing next week, it said on Thursday.

Telia had bought a 1.4 percent stake in Spotify, the world’s top-selling music streaming service, in June 2015 for around $115 million and sold them in several tranches over time.

Telia said the two companies had concluded their strategic partnership.

“Spotify has been a fantastic investment for Telia Company, both from a direct return and a partnership perspective,” Telia Chief Executive Johan Dennelind said in a statement.

Shares of Spotify Technology SA (SPOT.N) are set to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on April 3 in an unusual direct listing that gives insiders the option to sell instantly and does without the support of traditional underwriters - a recipe for potentially high volatility in early trading.

The company was valued at around $20 billion based on private stock transactions among existing investors and employees in February, according to its filing.

Reporting by Helena Soderpalm; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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