From the May 01, 2012 issue of Futures Magazine • Subscribe!

Bats IPO halted by technical glitch

Pinch hitter

A “software bug” was blamed when equity exchange Bats Global Markets Inc. pulled the plug on the launch day of its initial public offering. It also blamed the technical glitch for a below-market price trade on Apple Inc.’s stock that briefly halted trading of the world’s largest company by market value.

Bats officials said they had spent months testing their system for their own IPO, which was to be the first corporate IPO on the Bats Exchange, but an “unforeseen bug” had appeared during the Bats IPO auction, causing a system failure.

The six-year-old company, which was founded by a high-frequency trader and executed almost 11% of U.S. equities volume in February, later said it terminated its own listing and would file with the Securities and Exchange Commission to voluntarily delist its common stock. 

The company’s board also moved — reportedly unrelated to the incident — to separate the company’s chairman and CEO posts. Joe Ratterman, who has held both posts since 2007, will retain those titles until a new chairman is named. 

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