Exchange operator Bats Global Markets could be set to embark on an initial public offering after hiring underwriters, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Kansas City-based Bats has settled on multiple, unnamed, underwriters after interviewing candidates over the last few months, says the Journal, citing people familiar with the situation.
Bats is only about five years old but has used cutting edge technology and low prices at its two US equity exchanges to take significant market share from the country's major players Nyse Euronext and Nasdaq OMX.
It also runs a European platform and has recently entered exclusive discussions on a takeover of rival outfit Chi-X Europe.
An IPO would provide the firm with acquisition money as well as an exit strategy for stakeholders such as Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse, Citi, JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank, suggests the WSJ.
Bats Exchange Hires IPO Managers - WSJ