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Bats Global Markets prices its long-awaited IPO

Bats prices IPO at $19
Bats prices IPO at $19

The IPO market is finally thawing out.

Exchange operator Bats Global Markets on Thursday priced its long-awaited initial public offering at $19, at the high end of the price range of $17 to $19. The company earlier in the day increased the size of the offering from 11.2 million shares to 13.3 million.

Bats faces a lot of pressure two reasons. First, it tried to go public four years ago on its own exchange but failed due to a technology glitch. Second, it is the first significant IPO in four months, one of the worst IPO droughts in modern memory. So the entire market, and the IPO community, is watching how the offer will price and how it will trade.

If all goes well, the following week will see at least three more IPOs — MGM Growth Properties, a REIT that owns some of the biggest casinos in Las Vegas, American Renal, which runs kidney dialysis facilities and SecureWorks, the Dell security spinoff.

A member of exchange staff stands on the trading floor of Bats Europe, the European arm of Bats Global Markets Inc., in London, U.K., on Monday, March 14, 2016.
Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images

On the horizon is US Foods and cycling center SoulCycle, though neither have floated a price range yet.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. There are 120 IPOs on file waiting to go public, according to Renaissance Capital Partners. Another 50 or so have selected banks or may have filed privately.

So the potential is huge. It all depends on how this early group prices and whether the stock market holds up.

A man looks at the main board of the Australian Securities Exchange ASX.
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