Airbnb is poised to hire Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as join advisers for its planned stock-market flotation in 2020, people familiar with the plans told Reuters Wednesday.
The home-sharing company represents a high-profile client. But if it opts for a direct listing, as has been reported, the mandate will likely be less rewarding for the banks. While traditional IPOs can bring banks millions of dollars in underwriting fees, Airbnb's direct listing plan won't involve the sale of any new shares. Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs would likely serve as market advisers, and not as an IPO underwriter, Reuters reported.
Airbnb is considering a move to public markets in the middle of 2020, timing that would avoid volatility from the US presidential election, one source said. The firm is privately valued at around $31 billion, suggesting it could be one of the largest companies to go public next year.
Direct listings have become increasingly common in the tech sector, with Spotify and Slack among the biggest names to chose the route over IPOs in recent years.