Visa IPO to Help Recapitalize U.S. Banks

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Includes: BAC, C, GS, JPM, V
by: Felix Salmon

The Visa IPO, which could raise as much as $18.8 billion, is going to dwarf what until now was the largest IPO in US stock market history, AT&T Wireless's $10.6 billion offering at the height of the dot-com boom in 2000. It will also help a great deal in terms of raising capital to shore up the balance sheets of Visa's bank shareholders. But it won't be the biggest IPO of all time: that honor still belongs to ICBC's $19 billion offering at the end of 2006.

Of course, if a bank-owned company goes public, this is inevitable:

Fifteen banks are arranging Visa's share sale, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc.

Sounds like a recipe for confusion to me, although I'm sure they'll work it out somehow.

Related: More on the Visa IPO