StubHub Reportedly Considers Going Public

The StubHub logo at the company
Andrej Sokolow/picture alliance via Getty Images
– The StubHub logo at the company
The picture was taken before viagogo bought the company off of Ebay in 2019.

According to a Bloomberg report, StubHub Holdings, which operates ticket resale platforms StubHub and viagogo, is looking into going public via a direct listing.

Based on information from anonymous sources, Bloomberg writes, that “the company, led by Chief Executive Officer Eric H. Baker, confidentially filed paperwork with the U.S. Securities and Exchanges Commission and could pursue a direct listing as soon as this year.”
According to the report, “a transaction may value StubHub at more than $13 billion, and the firm is working with advisers including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. on the potential listing.”
The difference between going public via a direct listing as opposed to an IPO lies in the fact that companies don’t issue new shares. Only existing, outstanding shares are sold in a direct listing, with no underwriters involved that charge a commission for facilitating a traditional IPO and guaranteeing the sale of stock.
Eric Baker.
– Eric Baker.
viagogo founder and CEO, as well as StubHub co-founder.

Aside from saving costs, reasons to choose a direct listing to go public can also include not wanting to dilute existing shares by creating new ones, or  wanting to avoid lockup agreements, according to Investopedia.

Viagogo acquired StubHub for $4.05 billion in 2019. The combined company has about $2.5 billion in outstanding debt, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and Moody’s Investors Service. When Moody’s last rated the company in July 2021, it changed its outlook to positive, citing “a faster-than-expected increase in scheduled live events, especially in the U.S.”
According to Bloomberg, “the ratings firm said at the time that it expects StubHub revenue to approach pre-pandemic levels in 2022, and that it has leading market positions in most regions including North America.” The projections were made before Omicron, and Moody’s warned that a new variant could delay the company’s full recovery.
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