Bats IPO Makes Exchange Built by Wall Street Public

Bats Global Markets Inc. (BATS), founded by a high-frequency trader and nurtured by the world’s top securities firms into the third-largest U.S. stock exchange operator, will seek more than $100 million for its owners today.

Bats plans to sell 6.3 million shares between $16 and $18 apiece after the close of trading, according to a filing yesterday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Underwriters led by Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse Group AG and Citigroup Inc. are pricing the shares at about 16.9 times estimated 2013 earnings, according to Diego Perfumo, an analyst at hedge fund adviser Equity Research Desk.

Started in 2005 with 13 employees, Bats was steered to prominence by brokers and traders trying to hold down fees as the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq Stock Market bought their biggest electronic rivals. Now, with its venues accounting for 11 percent of U.S. share volume, the Lenexa, Kansas-based company is seeking a valuation that is higher than its biggest competitors, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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