Visa to raise $10bn in IPO

Visa to raise $10bn in IPO

Card payment network Visa has disclosed that it plans to raise up to $10 billion through its forthcoming stock market flotation, which is expected to take place early next year.

However Visa did not reveal when it plans to go public, how many shares it plans to offer or the expected share price in its registration statement with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Visa unveiled plans to go public in 2006 following a restructuring of its operations that would see its European unit separated from the rest of the organisation. At the time Visa said it hoped to go public within 12 to 18 months.

The move follows the successful IPO of Visa's rival MasterCard earlier last year. The IPO priced at $39 but MasterCard shares have since soared in trading on the New York Stock Exchange and have risen nearly five-fold. The stock closed at $193 on Friday.

News of Visa's IPO target comes just days after the card firm said it had agreed to pay rival card operator American Express up to $2.25 billion to settle an anti-trust lawsuit filed in 2004 alleging collusion to block access to the bank-issued card market in the US.

The suit, which was filed against Visa, MasterCard and eight major banks in November 2004, sought damages for business lost as a result of anti-competitive business practices. At the time American Express said those practices had effectively locked it out of the bank-issued card business in the US.

MasterCard now remains the sole defendant in the case.

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