BATS Tries Again With I.P.O. on Its Own Exchange

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The BATS Chi-X trading floor in London in 2013. On Thursday, BATS Global Markets’ investors, who include Bank of America and Knight Capital Group, sold $252.7 million worth of shares at a price of $19 apiece. Credit Andrew Testa for The New York Times

BATS Global Markets, whose attempt at an initial public offering on its own exchange was botched four years ago, is trying again.

The company is making its debut at a time when the market for new stock offerings has been moribund. If successful, the I.P.O. would be, by far, the biggest this year.

In a market that has scared away other companies, BATS received strong demand from investors nonetheless. It priced at the high end of the range it had been marketing and increased the number of shares to be sold in the offering.

On Thursday, the company’s investors, who include Bank of America and Knight Capital Group, sold $252.7 million worth of shares at a price of $19 apiece.

The shares, listed on BATS’s own exchange, which is based in Lenexa, Kan., are expected to begin trading on Friday under the ticker symbol BATS.

BATS is doing everything it can to avoid a repeat of March 2012. Then, a series of technical malfunctions and errors affected not just the trading of BATS’s own stock but also Apple’s. That caused the shares to be halted, the trades to be canceled and BATS to withdraw its first go at an I.P.O.

This time around, BATS has streamlined its servers and conducted 50,000 tests (at least once a day since December) for its auction system to handle the volume.

Despite the 2012 fiasco, BATS has grown to become the second-largest exchange for equities in the United States by market share, according to the I.P.O. filing. Last year, the company captured 21.1 percent share, it said. The company said it also has the most share of trading in exchange-traded products, the prospectus showed.

The company generated $1.78 billion in revenue last year, more than double the amount from four years ago. Founded 11 years ago, BATS, which stands for “Better Alternative Trading System,” soon received backing from dozens of Wall Street firms as it sought to compete against the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq.

The exchange business is fiercely competitive, which has led to a large amount of consolidation, including the recent deal signed between Deutsche Börse and the London Stock Exchange Group.

BATS has participated in acquisitions of its own, purchasing Chi-X Europe in 2011, Direct Edge Holdings in January 2014 and Hotspot FX Holdings last year. These deals allowed the company to expand into Europe, scale its exchange business and delve into new products.

The company is taking a more demure approach to its I.P.O. than typical deals that list on either the New York Stock Exchange or the Nasdaq.

Chris Concannon, the chief executive, will be in the Kansas City area for the opening, without TV cameras or the ringing of a bell to open the market. Mr. Concannon joined BATS as president in December 2014, after spending five years at Virtu Financial, a high-frequency trading firm.

BATS’s investors sold 13.3 million shares in the offering. The company did not receive any of the proceeds from the I.P.O. The I.P.O. price accords BATS a market value of $1.8 billion, based on 95.7 million shares outstanding.

Morgan Stanley and Citigroup are managing the offering.

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