Afterpay mulls blockbuster US listing

 

Buy now pay later platform Afterpay is working with advisers to explore the potential of a US listing "given the US market is now the largest contributor to our business and is expected to continue to grow strongly".

However, the company said it would remain headquartered in Australia and set no timeline for a board decision on the listing.

A North American IPO would see Afterpay join the likes of software company Atlassian, which was started in Sydney but listed on the US tech-heavy NASDAQ, and is now worth around $US57bn.

Elsewhere, Afterpay provided a quarterly update: underlying sales were up 104 per cent in the third quarter of FY21 against the prior comparable period.

Underlying sales in the United States and United Kingdom were up 211 per cent and 277 per cent respectively on Q3 FY20 on a local currency basis.

Additionally, the company said March 2021 exceeded December 2020 in sales to deliver "the second highest monthly underlying sales ever recorded," with the US division becoming the first region to record more than $1b in underlying sales in a single month.

Active customers globally increased by 75 per cent to 14.6m.

The company's shares are currently at $126.20, giving it a valuation of $36.51bn.

"Afterpay is currently working with external advisers to explore options for a US listing given the US market is now the largest contributor to our business and is expected to continue to grow strongly," the company said in a statement.

Afterpay co-CEOs Nick Molnar and Anthony Eisen. Supplied
Afterpay co-CEOs Nick Molnar and Anthony Eisen. Supplied

"While Afterpay intends to remain an Australian headquartered company, our shareholder base is increasingly becoming more globally focused. A US listing would further accommodate this growing interest.

"There is no timeline set for a board decision on a US listing and any listing would be subject to market conditions, approval by a US exchange and satisfying a number of other customary listing prerequisites."

Afterpay co-founder and co-CEO Anthony Eisen told The Australian in a recent interview that it was his company's focus on consumer trust that has allowed the company to be a major player overseas, not just in Australua.

"What we're seeing now is being a once in a lifetime generational shift away from traditional credit products," he said. "Afterpay didn't invent that, Afterpay has responded to that trend, which has pretty much emerged since the global financial crisis.

"If anything, I see that accelerating, and I think we're very well positioned. It's not just a young thing, it's not just a millennial thing, they're the early adopters but but the median age of opting in to pay later in Australia is 34 to 35, and we're seeing those trends overseas as well."

More to come.

Additional reporting: Lachlan Moffet Gray

Originally published as Afterpay mulls blockbuster US listing



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