Swedish Telco Firm Sells Off Spotify Shares for $272 Million Ahead of Listing

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Spotify is displayed on the screen of an iPhone on Jan. 6, 2017 in Paris.

Spotify and one of its oldest friends have parted ways ahead of the company's debut on Wall Street. Swedish telecommunications firm Telia announced it has completed a total divestment of its minority stake in Spotify, in transactions totaling $272 million in private trades.

Telia owned a 1.4 percent stake in Spotify thanks to a $115 million investment made in June 2015, but the two companies had been working together since 2009 when the telco began including Spotify Premium subscriptions as part of its offerings. Telia's earnings from the sale amount to a 2.4x return on its 2015 investment.

Spotify is making its stock market debut today. Unlike other startups, Spotify decided to forego the traditional IPO route for what is called a "direct listing," allowing investors and employees more flexibility in how they sell their shares. The unconventional -- but decidedly more muted -- debut is expected to bring some stock price volatility in the coming days.

"We wish Spotify all the best in its next phase as a truly global listed company," said Johan Dennelind, Telia's president and CEO. "Spotify has been a fantastic investment for Telia Company, both from a direct return and a partnership perspective."