Pinterest Files For IPO, Sets Stage For Mid-April Debut

Pinterest, the image-search company gearing up to go public via an initial public offering, filed its paperwork with the Securities and Exchange Commission late last week, setting the stage for it to become a publicly traded company by the middle of April.

The Wall Street Journal, citing the filing with the SEC, reported the company, while still lodging losses, has seen revenue jumped in the last couple of years. Pinterest ended 2018 with revenue of $756 million. That is higher than the $472.9 million in revenue it reported in 2017. At the same time, losses are narrowing — it lost $63 million in 2018. In 2017 the losses were $130 million. Pinterest, which was last valued at around $12 billion, plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange with the symbol PINS.  The image-search company said in the filing that it has 265 million monthly active users and that 184 million of them are outside of the U.S.  Despite that, much of its revenue is derived in the U.S.

Pinterest plans to roll out its IPO as a dual-class structure in which existing investors get 20 votes per share. Public investors will get one vote per share. The existing investors who will get more voting power own under 4.76 percent of the outstanding stock. Those investors will also lose majority voting control.

On the compensation front, The Wall Street Journal reported the board signed off on a package for the co-founders in which Ben Silbermann, CEO of Pinterest, and co-founder Evan Sharp get 7 million shares each, which amounts to more than $50 million. That’s based on a valuation of about $12.3 billion, noted the paper. The executives can access the shares during a five year period. While these types of bonuses don’t happen all the time, The Wall Street Journal said for red hot startups it’s becoming more common. The paper pointed to Snap, the disappearing messaging app company, as one example. Chief Executive Evan Spiegel was given stock valued at $625 million at the time as part of its IPO.



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