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Markit in US stock exchange move

A business that began life in a barn in St Albans is set to float on the New York Stock Exchange in a move that could value it at as much as 4.5 billion US dollars (£2.7 billion).

London-based financial data business Markit shunned a City listing and intends to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in America selling 45.7 million shares at between 23 US dollars (£13.68) and 25 US dollars (£14.87) a share, rising up to 1.14 billion US dollars (£678.3 million).

The business was co-founded by its Canadian chief executive Lance Uggla in 2003, who found it difficult to find accurate prices for financial instruments called credit default swaps.

He left his job as a senior trader at brokerage TD Securities and set up Markit to bring greater transparency to this area.

Markit now provides a range of data and pricing services to banks, hedge funds, asset managers, central banks, regulators, auditors, fund administrators and insurance companies.

It competes with rivals such as Thomson Reuters and Bloomberg.

Markit has more than 3,000 employees in 10 countries, including the UK.

In the three months to the end of March, the firm said it generated revenues of 259.4 million US dollars (£154.3 million), which produced a profit attributable to equity holders of 39.8 million US dollars (£23.7 million).

The firm's major shareholders include Goldman Sachs and Bank of America.

Markit plans to grow by adding new services and institutional clients in western Europe and the US, and boost its presence in Asia and other emerging markets, according to its Securities and Exchange Commission filings lodged in New York.

The business said that currently approximately 49.9% of its revenue comes from customers in the US and 40.3% from European Union-based clients.

The firm's other co-founder is Markit president Kevin Gould, who was also a trader at TD Securities.

The company said it is not selling any shares and will not receive any proceeds of the offering. Markit has not said when it expects to float.

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