Guess we could have seen this coming, even in the environs of a dark pool. Electronic block trading firm Liquidnet Holdings has put its planned $500 million IPO on hold due to market turmoil that has essentially closed the market to IPOs, particularly in financial services.
CEO Seth Merrin disclosed the pullback in an interview with Reuters, saying he hoped the company could continue with the plans, perhaps, by 2010.
Liquidnet, which handles a $100 billion-plus global market place for anonymous institutional block trades outside the traditional broker exchange arena, was forced to table its planned filing—announced in July—due to the massive hit to financial stocks the second half of this year. IPOs for financial companies have been dreadful performers for investors the past two years (with the exception of Visa), and led to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts’ decision to postpone the NYSE IPO originally set for 4Q 2008.
Liquidnet is still taking advantage of the overall shift to electronic alternative trading. Last week it expanded reach with a streaming liquidity partnership arrangement with the NYSE Arca exchange for its 552 global buy-side members.