for brazilian shareholders, nubank’s ipo has a bitter aftertaste

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In 2021, we wondered whether Brazil could be in for an IPO bonanza. It hasn’t happened: Not only is Latin America’s largest economy going through the same IPO drought as the rest of the world, but also one of its highest-profile public listings, Nubank, is coming to a sudden end. Let’s explore. — Anna

What does it mean?

Nubank is one of Latin America’s preeminent neobanks, so when its parent company, Nu Holdings, decided to go public with a dual listing in New York and São Paulo, the operation was one of the most anticipated exits of 2021 among observers of Brazil and fintech.

There have been some bumps on Nubank’s road to IPO — for instance, when it repriced its shares from $11 to $9 ahead of its exit. But the fact that its debut on December 9 went okay and that its market cap, while down, hasn’t plummeted either, could be considered a relative success.

Fast-forward to last week, when surprising news emerged: “Nubank to Delist from Brazil’s B3 Stock Exchange,” a Bloomberg Línea headline read. There’s more nuance to it: As the article detailed, the fintech company will actually “restructure its Brazilian Depositary Receipts (BDRs) program with the conversion from Level III to I.” Confused? You are not alone.

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