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David Beckham's Guild Esports to File for IPO in London

(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

Source: Reuters

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