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Interactive Brokers announced their plans to go public on November 27th, 2006 with the filing of an S-1. But since that announcement we’ve heard not a peep out of them.
The founder, Thomas Peterffy, continues to thumb his nose at the sell side firms by planning to use a ‘Dutch auction’ to distribute the shares. This is the same method used by Google and Lazard. Only two firms will place the offering: WR Hambrecht and E*Trade Securities. And they have already picked out a good symbol: IBKR.
There is a lot of great information about Interactive Brokers in their S-1. For example, did you know that IB makes 7 times more from market making as from their brokerage services? And most impressive, IB’s growth rate is still phenomenal. Their consistent growth is what sets apart IB from the rest of the brokers and makes their IPO very attractive. By early estimates the firm will probably be valued at around the $10 billion range. Which means that with an 85% ownership stake, Thomas Peterffy can afford a few more horses
The only disadvantage is that Peterffy has organized the IB Group in a very complex way and through a dual share structure has ensured that even with the firm in public hands, he will continue to maintain control. This isn’t a totally bad thing when you consider how IB has grown under his stewardship.
I’ve asked my contacts inside IB for more info, so when I hear back, I’ll update this.
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