Latham & Watkins Advises on the Direct Listing of Wise

High-profile transaction represents the first direct listing of a tech company on the London Stock Exchange.

July 07, 2021

Latham & Watkins has advised Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Barclays Bank as lead financial advisers and Citigroup as co-adviser on the direct listing of Wise, a London-based fintech payments company, on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The transaction represents the first direct listing of a tech company on the LSE to date. Upon admission, Wise’s market capitalisation was approximately £8 billion, representing the largest listing in London in recent years and the largest listing by a technology company in London. 

The transaction featured numerous innovative features, including a bespoke opening auction developed by the LSE to manage the initial buy and sell orders, a liquidity provision arrangement whereby existing shareholders provided a supply of shares for sale in the initial auction, and no lock-up restrictions for certain existing shareholders. In addition, Wise launched its OwnWise programme to reward its customers who buy Wise shares after admission.

The Latham team was led by London corporate partner James Inness, with London US capital markets partner Ryan Benedict, New York partner Greg Rodgers, and London associates Sean Meehan and Nick Fisher. Advice on regulatory matters was provided by London partner Rob Moulton. 

Notice: We appreciate your interest in Latham & Watkins. If your inquiry relates to a legal matter and you are not already a current client of the firm, please do not transmit any confidential information to us. Before taking on a representation, we must determine whether we are in a position to assist you and agree on the terms and conditions of engagement with you. Until we have completed such steps, we will not be deemed to have a lawyer-client relationship with you, and will have no duty to keep confidential the information we receive from you. Thank you for your understanding.