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.

The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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