Tradeweb's IPO was the second largest in the US this year, behind only Lyft's $2.3B offering. And after the ridehailing giant's uneven performance so far as a public company, Tradeweb's early success could be a good sign for other multibillion-dollar private companies poised to go public in the coming months, such as Uber and Pinterest.
It's also good news for Blackstone, whose other portfolio company Alight Solutions postponed its IPO two weeks ago. The benefits administrator had hoped to raise up to $800 million from the offering.
Tradeweb, the operator of a platform that facilitates trading of bonds, derivatives and other securities, is owned by Refinitiv, which a Blackstone-led group purchased 55% of last year from Thomson Reuters in a deal that valued the unit at around $20 billion. Refinitiv will maintain majority control over the trading platform after the offering and will use proceeds to purchase shares from several banks that own Tradeweb stock.
A reluctant borrower in the past, Tradeweb will take out a $500 million loan directly after the offering that could be used for future acquisitions, according to Bloomberg.
"We've done some things in the past and for us, we always say the past is a bit of prologue," Tradeweb CEO Lee Olesky told Bloomberg in a television interview. "We focus on building networks. We focus on software development. We'll look at a variety of things and we’ll be opportunistic."
Founded in 1996, Tradeweb serves approximately 2,500 clients in more than 60 countries. In an average trading day, the New York-based company facilitates more than $540 billion in notional value. It generated $684 million in revenue for 2018, up from $563 million in 2017; net income also jumped for over the same period, from $84 million to $159 million.
JP Morgan, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley—all among a group of 11 banks that hold Tradeweb stock—acted as the joint book-running managers for the offering. Tradeweb is listed on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol TW.
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