May 4, 2012 / 8:28 PM / in 6 years

BATS says business is good, despite IPO failure

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (Reuters) - Even after an embarrassing failure of the company’s initial public offering on its listing system in March, business at BATS Global Markets is still going strong, a company executive said.

In March, a series of blunders hit the market debut of BATS Global Markets Exchange Inc BATS.Z, causing its shares to erroneously trade for less than a penny. The problems also fouled a trade in shares of Apple Inc (AAPL.O).

BATS later took the extremely rare step of withdrawing its initial public offering of shares.

“Did it tarnish our reputation? Among the public, yes,” said Jeromee Johnson, vice president of market development who leads BATS Options, the company’s U.S. equity options exchange.

“But the embarrassment doesn’t erase the years of good technology and business with the trading community, our members and clients,” he said in an interview with Reuters at the sidelines of the Options Industry Council conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

BATS locked in one of the best trading months in its seven-year history in April, with its share of U.S. equities trading rising to 11.5 percent, up from 10.6 percent a year earlier. That was also an increase from 10.9 percent in March.

    For BATS Options, its market share in April grew to 3.1 percent, up from 2.4 percent a year ago.

    “If we were to go IPO again tomorrow, which we don’t need to, we won’t get the same valuation, as the brand has been damaged,” Johnson said. “But it hasn’t changed at all how we do our day-to-day business.”

    BATS, an acronym for Better Alternative Trading System, is the third-largest U.S. stock exchange behind the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. It recently completed the cross-Atlantic takeover of alternative trading venue Chi-X Europe.

    Editing by Leslie Adler

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