Owners of privately held credit card and payment services giant Visa, Inc. plan to sell about half of the company to the general public as they look to raise a U.S. record $17.1 billion through a stock offering.

The San Francisco based company filed a detailed report today filling hundreds of pages about its intentions with regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

According to the document, the company will offer 406 million Class A shares between $37 and $42 each to raise up to $17.1 billion. Banks may also sell an additional 40.6 million shares, bringing the total to $18.8 billlion.

Visa did not set a date for the offering.

If carried out, the IPO would be the largest U.S. offering ahead of the $10.6 billion raised by the AT&T Wireless Group in 2000. The world's largest IPO was a $22 billion offer by Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd in 2006.

Visa is following in the footsteps of its smaller arch rival Mastercard, Inc., which raised $2.39 billion last May by selling nearly half of the company to the public.