Updated from 9:57 a.m. EST
With little fanfare, the
Nasdaq Stock Market
took another step Tuesday in its long and tortuous path toward a broad public listing.
The Nasdaq filed a registration statement to sell shares that could raise $100 million for investors who purchased stock in two private placements back in 2000 and 2001. Nasdaq said none of its officers or employees will be selling shares in the offering.
Nasdaq will not receive any of the proceeds from the offering.
The private placements were seen as the first step in Nasdaq's much-discussed plans in the late 1990s to go public. The stock market had been expected to file for an initial public offering soon after the private stock sales.
But the bursting of the Nasdaq bubble in technology stocks, the recession and the Sept. 11 terror attacks left Nasdaq's IPO plans on the back burner. The registration statement is an attempt by Nasdaq to revive its dreams of becoming a publicly traded stock market.
To some extent, the Nasdaq already is a public company. A few thousand shares of the stock market trade each day on the OTC Bulletin Board, under the ticker symbol "NDAQ.OB." In June 2002, some of the investors who purchased shares in the two private placements created a market in Nasdaq's stock by selling some of those shares.
In late afternooon trading, the Nasdaq's stock was up $1.55, or 22.8%, to $8.35. Volume was 133,000 shares, about seven times normal.
Nasdaq, meanwhile, has plans to upgrade the listing for its stock. Not surprisingly, the Nasdaq wants to re-list on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
A full-fledged IPO is seen as critical to Nasdaq's ultimate goal of divorcing itself from the NASD, the securities industry association, which still owns a significant block of Nasdaq stock. An IPO would raise cash for Nasdaq to enable it to break free of Nasdaq and of its regulatory arm. An independent Nasdaq Stock Market would then buy regulatory services from the NASD.
At one time, the idea of a stock exchange going public was novel. But in recent years, a number of European exchanges have gone public, as well as several in the U.S.
, the Chicago-based electronic stock market, raised $126 million in an IPO. Last year the
Chicago Mercantile Exchange
went public in a highly successful stock offering.