Because of serious glitches in equity-market trading operations on Friday, Bats Global Markets Inc. announced it has scuttled its planned initial public offering, which had been scheduled to close on March 28.
"Although our affected market has reopened, in the wake of today's technical issues, which affected the trading of certain stocks, including that of BATS, we believe withdrawing the IPO is the appropriate action to take for our company and our shareholders," said Joe Ratterman, chairman, CEO, and president of the Lenexa, Kan.-based BATS.
BATS operates two electronic exchanges in the United States, the BZX Exchange and the BYX Exchange, which currently account for about 11 percent to 12 percent of all U.S. equity trading on a daily basis, according to the company.
Speaking of the now-canceled IPO, James Angel, a finance professor at Georgetown University's business school in Washington, told Bloomberg News in a phone interview: "I'm reeling from the shock. It's like seeing an airplane crash on takeoff. To see defeat snatched from the jaws of victory is always a sad thing."
One of the BATS technical issues on Friday led to a halt in the trading of shares in Apple Inc., the most highly valued company on U.S. stock exchanges.
Another of the company's technical issues led to its own shares being quoted at less than one cent in the morning after being priced at $16 on Thursday.
Evoking memories of the Flash Crash on May 6, 2010, the BATS malfunctions may refocus scrutiny on modern American market structure, and they may also raise questions about the reliability of trading venues that have been formed as competitors to the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market since the 1990s, according to Bloomberg.
BATS had priced 6.3 million shares at $16 per share late Thursday in its now-canceled IPO sold by lead underwriters Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley, and Credit Suisse Group, Reuters reported.