April Fools 2019

Thousand-Year-Old Japanese Firm Eyes IPO

Stones

Amid the excitement for Levi Strauss’ initial public offering (IPO), Kongō Gumi is eyeing a listing on the New York Stock Exchange more than 1,000 years after its founding. While plans for the construction company’s listing are not set in stone, unnamed sources have claimed the company’s slogan will be “An IPO for the Ages.”

The company is expected to offer 500 million shares under the ticker symbol of STONE, and analysts believe the stock will be listed in the range of 14 to 16 gold plates. The company first went public in 600 A.D., and was taken private again in 950 A.D. Underwriters of the company’s listing include the Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian and the Louvre.

“Investors have been waiting for this company to go public for years — and we really mean years,” an analyst at Museum Security wrote in a note. “Not only do we think that the IPO will be oversubscribed, but we think it’s long overdue — by a couple hundred years, give or take.”

Kongō Gumi plans to use the funds for operating expenses, as well as capital expenditures, which could last for another few hundred or thousands of years. The company’s buildings have stood the test of time, along with the IPOs of much younger companies — some which have only been in business for just a few minutes before their listings on the open markets.

News of Kongō Gumi’s IPO comes amid a year when several long-established companies suddenly decided to go public at the same time. While Levi’s is going public after more than 160 years in business, it is a relative newcomer to the market. Other companies planning to go public this year include Stiftskeller St. Peter, which was established in 803 A.D.; The Bingley Arms, which was founded in 953 A.D.; and the Château de Goulaine, which was founded in 1,000 A.D.

This story was written as part of PYMNTS’ annual April Fools’ Day edition, all in the spirit of good fun. Any resemblance to real news is purely coincidental. We hope you enjoyed it.

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