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High-speed trader Virtu Financial to raise up to $314 million in IPO — Reuters

(Reuters) – Virtu Financial Inc (VIRT.O), an electronic trading firm, said it expects to raise up to $314 million in an initial public offering, a year after postponing its first attempt to go public amid a furor over high-frequency trading.

Virtu Financial’s offering of 16.5 million Class A shares is expected to be priced at between $17 and $19 per share, valuing the company at about $2.6 billion.

The company is a market-maker in equities, fixed income, currencies and commodities. It earns money by through “spreads” – the difference between what buyers and sellers are willing to pay or accept in a trade.

Virtu Financial’s decision to postpone the IPO last year followed the release of Michael Lewis’ book “Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt”, which questioned whether markets were rigged in favor of high-frequency traders.

The company also caused a stir when it revealed last year that it had only one day of trading losses in five years. The detail was meant to show the firm’s profitability but critics of high-frequency trading pointed to it as a sign that high-speed traders have unfair advantages.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N), JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Sandler O’Neill + Partners LP are among the underwriters for the offering.