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UPDATE 1-David Beckham's Guild Esports to file for IPO in London

Wed, 9th Sep 2020 08:17

(Adds financial detail, background)

Sept 9 (Reuters) - David Beckham's Guild Esports, which owns
and develops esports teams, said on Wednesday it intends to list
on the London Stock Exchange this autumn, a move that would make
it the first esports company in the UK to join the market.

The company plans to raise just 20 million pounds ($26
million) listing around 40% of its shares, a person with
knowledge of the matter said.

"The move comes as esports benefit from a rapidly growing
fan base worldwide with some tournaments attracting a bigger
audience than the Wimbledon tennis championships, Tour de France
and the U.S. Open," said the company, which counts former
England soccer captain Beckham as its founding shareholder.

Guild Esports had revenue of $951 million in 2019 and 443
million viewers.

Proceeds from the share placing will be used to recruit new
players and invest in the brand, it said in a release.

European listing volumes were at their lowest in eight years
in the first half of 2020 as the COVID-19 crisis doused investor
sentiment.

There has been a revival in new listings, but mostly in the
United States and Asia.

The Hut Group, an online retailer of beauty and nutrition
products, is expected to debut on the London public market in
September, potentially the biggest IPO of a British company
since 2013.

($1 = 0.7735 pounds)
(Reporting by Tanishaa Nadkar in Bengaluru and Clara Denina in
London; editing by Bernard Orr and Jason Neely)

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