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UPDATE 2-File-sharing firm WeTransfer hires banks for Amsterdam IPO - sources

(Adds details of funding round in 2019)

LONDON/AMSTERDAM/FRANKFURT, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Dutch tech firm WeTransfer is eyeing a stock market listing in Amsterdam in April or May as it looks to take advantage of investors’ voracious appetite for tech firms, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The company, best known for its online file-sharing service, has hired Bank of America-Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley as global coordinators for the initial public offering (IPO), the sources added.

One of them said ABN Amro and Barclays had been appointed as bookrunners for the deal.

Spokespeople for the company, Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Barclays declined to comment. ABN Amro was not immediately available for comment.

WeTransfer generates the bulk of its revenues from advertisements on its file-sharing service and through paid-for tools to help create presentations and share and organise ideas. Over 1.5 billion files a month are shared through its service.

Its sales more than doubled between 2017 and 2019, hitting 44.1 million euros ($53.6 million) in 2019 from 19.9 million euros in 2017, according to a parent company report.

The major shareholders are Highland Capital Partners with a 57.6% stake, the STAK with 19%, and HPE Growth with 13.5%. HPE Growth led a 35 million euro funding round in the company in August 2019.

The decision to pursue an Amsterdam comes partly because of the company’s origins and partly because Amsterdam is gaining a reputation as an international venue, one of the sources said.

A number of European tech firms have accelerated their listing plans this year as tech valuations soar in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

German e-commerce firm Auto1 and British online greetings card retailer Moonpig are already in the process of completing their planned listings, while the likes of Deliveroo, Darktrace, Trustly, Transferwise and Allfunds are all expected to launch their share offerings later this year, sources have said.

$1 = 0.8241 euros Reporting by Abhinav Ramnarayan, Toby Sterling and Arno Schuetze. Editing by Mark Potter

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