Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse disclosed to CNBC that the company had been actively exploring markets outside the United States for its much-anticipated initial public offering (IPO).
Garlinghouse attributed this strategic move to what he described as a “hostile” regulatory environment in the U.S. Nevertheless, the company has currently halted any intentions of pursuing an IPO.
Ripple Explores Global IPO Options Amid Regulatory Challenges
The decision to look beyond American borders for an IPO comes as Ripple navigates an ongoing legal battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), a case initiated in 2020 that has yet to reach a resolution.
The CEO had previously expressed intentions to pursue a public listing once the regulatory dispute had concluded. Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Garlinghouse shed light on Ripple’s decision to look beyond U.S. borders.
He stated that the company had explored jurisdictions with “clear rules of the road” to facilitate a smooth IPO process. The Ripple CEO expressed frustration with the SEC’s stance, emphasizing the challenges faced by companies attempting to go public amid regulatory scrutiny.
He drew attention to the SEC’s lawsuit against Coinbase, a U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange which, despite the SEC previously approving its S-1 filing, was later sued for alleged violations outlined in its S-1.
“In the United States, trying to go public with a very hostile regulator that’s approved your S-1, that doesn’t sound like a lot of fun to me,” Garlinghouse remarked.
An S-1 is a crucial document filed with the SEC ahead of an IPO, disclosing financial performance and key investment risks.
Garlinghouse Hints at US Listing Reconsideration
Addressing the current SEC chair, Gary Gensler, Garlinghouse criticized him as a “political liability.” He also expressed optimism for a more favorable regulatory environment under a new SEC chief, hinting at a potential reconsideration of a U.S. listing.
He noted, “We’ll evaluate again, as we have new regulators sitting at the United States SEC.” Despite this, he clarified that going public was not an immediate priority for Ripple.
The CEO also shed light on recent financial moves by the company. Garlinghouse emphasized the firm’s focus on shareholder liquidity, confirming a $1 billion stock buyback initiative to provide liquidity to early investors who have been with Ripple for over a decade.