Direct Listing

Direct Listing A flexible alternative to the traditional IPO

In a Direct Listing process, existing shares (founder, employee and investor shares) will be listed without raising capital. It is a listing without a public offering of shares. This also distinguishes it from a traditional IPO, where capital is raised by issuing new shares and/or placing existing shares.


Checklist: Going Public via Direct Listing?

Our checklist with the essential criteria for a successful listing:

  1. Competitive products/technologies
  2. Attractive market position with sustainable USPs
  3. Promising future prospects
  4. Efficient accounting/controlling
  5. Experienced management team

Reasons for a Direct Listing

No lock-up period: Shareholders are able to sell their shares without the usual restriction period of at least six months following an IPO.

No dilution: As no new shares are issued, voting rights and capital remain undiluted.

Flexibility: A flexible listing process ensures manageable costs.

Transparency: Open and equal access to the order book for all parties, whether they are institutional or retail investors.

No formal book-building: The relevant selling price is determined by supply and demand, not via the formal book-building of a traditional IPO.


In a recent episode of our podcast series “Road to IPO”, we take an in-depth look at Direct Listing. Host Joël Kaczmarek talks to Thomas Thurner, Managing Director & Head of Equity Capital Markets, Morgan Stanley, and Jasper Lembke, legal advisor for Listing & Issuer, Deutsche Börse AG. Listen now (only available in German)!

We connect you to experts from our Deutsche Börse Capital Market Partner network for individual support before and after your Direct Listing.

Do you have questions about the process and structure of a Direct Listing? Contact us:

Capital Markets Team