Visa Plans $17B IPO in Risky Market

Public offering would be the biggest in Wall Street history
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 25, 2008 8:55 AM CST
Visa Plans $17B IPO in Risky Market
Signs for American Express, Master Card and Visa credit cards are shown on a New York store's door on in this July 23, 2007 file photo. Americans are falling behind on their credit card payments at an alarming rate, sending delinquencies and defaults surging by double-digit percentages in the last year...   (Associated Press)

Visa is hoping to surpass rival MasterCard’s 2006 stock market debut with a $17 billion IPO that would be the largest in Wall Street history. The company today said it hopes to sell some 406 million shares for $37 to $42 each, reports the Wall Street Journal. The biggest previous IPO was AT&T Wireless Group’s $10.62 billion offering in 2000.

Visa is nearly twice the size of MasterCard, which has seen its share price grow 500% since its $2.4 billion IPO. Visa said it would sell another 40 million shares if demand warrants, taking its offering to $18.8 billion. IPOs have gotten a chilly reception lately with investors wary of new offerings. Visa will trade as “V” on the NYSE. (Read more Mastercard stories.)

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