Sources: Square to file for IPO in the next two weeks
Payments startup Square plans to file an S-1 document for its initial public offering within the next two weeks, according to multiple sources familiar with the situation.
The San Francisco-based company earlier this summer submitted a confidential filing, which is designed for companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenue. Goldman Sachs (GS) reportedly will serve as lead underwriter, with Morgan Stanley (MS) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) also participating. Square’s latest round of private funding valued the company at around $6 billion.
A public S-1 filing means an investor road show could launch just one month later, with a pricing soon to follow. That means timing is key — particularly given the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays — with sources saying Square would hold off on the public filing if significant macro concerns arose, such as concerns over the Chinese economy and rumors of the Fed raising interest rates.
The timing also complicates things for Square founder and CEO Jack Dorsey. For the last four months, Dorsey has acted as interim CEO of Twitter (TWTR), which he also co-founded. Many insiders expect Dorsey to be named full-time CEO of Twitter, but say the process has been complicated by Twitter’s board of directors stating that the company would only consider a full time CEO in “position to make a full-time commitment to Twitter.”
It’s rare for one executive to run two publicly traded companies at the same time, let alone as one goes through an IPO. Steve Jobs, whom Dorsey often cites as a hero, ran both Pixar and Apple (AAPL) at the same time. Carlos Ghosn is CEO of Nissan and Renault. (Each of the listed automotive companies has substantial shareholdings in the other, but they are independent.) Then there is Elon Musk, who leads publicly-traded Tesla Motors (TSLA) and privately-held SpaceX.
Earlier this month Square and Twitter announced a partnership which allows political candidates to accept donations on Twitter using Square’s payments system. Dorsey, per a Twitter spokesman, recuses himself on business deals between the two companies.
Square declined to comment.