Bank-owned card scheme Visa says it could make up to $18.8 billion in its forthcoming flotation on the New York Stock Exchange, making it the largest IPO ever.
Details of the share sale were revealed in an SEC filing. Visa says it expects to raise up to $17.1 billion from the sale of 406 million Class A shares valued between $37 and $42 each. If demand is high, Visa says it may release a second tranche of 40.6 million shares, boosting the potential proceeds to $18.8 billion.
The headline figure easily outstrips the previous record $10.6 billion raised by AT&T Wireless at the height of the dotcom-fuelled stockmarket boom in 2000.
Visa is selling into a weaker market, but it has been encouraged by the success of rival MasterCard, whose shares have quintupled in value since going public in May last year.
Visa says it will set aside some $3 billion of the proceeds to cover potential litigation and anti-trust costs.