BATS Exchange Withdraws IPO Due to Technical Issues

BATS Global Markets, one of the world’s largest computer driven, high-frequency trading platforms, withdrew its initial public offering Thursday morning after it was forced to halt trading in several stocks, including its own, due to a series of technical issues. The company has no immediate plans for relaunching the IPO as yet, according to a spokesman. The IPO withdrawal is a hit to the Kansas City exchange operator’s reputation, particularly given the uncertainty of what technical issues caused the problems, as no details were provided.

BATS announced late Thursday it was selling 6.3 million shares at $16 each, trading on the company’s own exchange Friday morning. Trading was halted just a few hours into the session, however, when the price suddenly plummeted to 4 cents a share. The SEC, meanwhile, has contacted representatives of BATS to determine the extent and cause of the incident and what steps the exchange operator is taking to prevent a recurrence. BATS apparently made several unsuccessful attempts to resume trading during Friday’s session, withdrawing the IPO after the market closed.

Interestingly, BATS was not the only exchange operator to encounter issues Friday, as trading of Apple shares were halted for a five minute period during the day when its shares suddenly fell from $598 to $543 a share on the Nasdaq. Trading was halted for about five minutes before returning at the same $598 level before sliding about 0.5 percent for the day.