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Markit files for US IPO

London-based Markit, a behind the scenes player on Wall Street, has filed for an initial public offering in the U.S.  The company, which provides price data for global bond and derivative markets, is looking to raise $750 million.  However that figure will probably change since Reuters originally reported that Markit was looking to raise $1 billion from its U.S. listing.  

Markit reported $948 million in revenue and $230 million in operating profit last year.  The company, which was founded in 2003, gets most of its revenue by providing pricing and reference data to more than 3,000 institutional customers globally.  The company competes with Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg L.P.  Markit’s most well-known products are a group of indexes tracking credit-default swaps.  The company was valued at $5 billion in 2013 when Temasek Holdings purchased a 10% stake.

Since Markit is owned by companies like JPMorgan Chase, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and General Atlantic LLC, the U.S. Department of Justice and European Commission are investigating the company for antitrust issues relating to its business in credit default swaps.  The DOJ is investigating whether the controlling banks conspired to block the development of exchange trading in CDS.  The implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act is opening up the swaps market to more competition.

The underwriters of the offering include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and UBS.