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Bats surges after long-awaited IPO

Exchange staff talk whilst examining financial data on computer screens on the trading floor of Bats Europe, the European arm of Bats Global Markets Inc., in London, March 14, 2016.
Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Shares of Bats Global Markets soared about 21 percent on Friday, their first day of trading.

The offering of 13.3 million shares was priced at the top of the expected range of $17-$19 each, raising $252.7 million and making it the biggest U.S.-based IPO so far this year.

All shares were offered by shareholders. BATS, the second-biggest U.S. exchange by volume, did not raise any money.

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.

Bats, an acronym for "better alternative trading system," was formed in 2005 as an alternative to the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq, in response to increased consolidation in the sector.

— Reuters and CNBC's Bob Pisani contributed to this report.