Instinet, after being purchased less than a year ago by Silver Lake Partners, has hit a crossroads. The Menlo Park, Calif-based private equity firm plans to either sell the firm or take it public, according to the Associated Press.
Silver Lake bought the electronic brokerage house for $208 million from Nasdaq Stock Market last December. Chief executive Edward Nicoll and a few other members of management own between 25% and 33% of the firm. The move was prompted by unsolicited approaches from at least three possible buyers, said Nicoll.
Firms looking for a quick sale usually market themselves to buyers while preparing IPOs, a process known as dual tracking, to stimulate bids. This marks the latest example of private-equity firms looking to cash-out well in advance of the three-year to five-year holding periods that they typically tell investors to expect.
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