Two Kansas City area companies are heading in opposite directions on Wall Street.
Lenexa-based Bats Global Markets Inc. officially filed to offer its own shares to investors in an initial public offering. The filing confirms reports early this month that it would try again to go public on its own stock exchange after a failed attempt in 2012.
Heading for the exit ramp, shareholders of Kansas City Life Insurance Co. voted for measures to allow the company to deregister its publicly traded stock.
“Our board of directors determined, and our shareholders have agreed, that the costs of being a publicly held company outweigh the benefits,” chief executive R. Philip Bixby said in an announcement of the vote.
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It’s a conclusion many other smaller area companies have reached since the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002 and other changes to public reporting requirements.
Like those other companies, Kansas City Life’s shares would continue to trade publicly in some markets, and the company could go to the trouble to distribute audited financial statements. But it would no longer be required to submit the collection of annual, quarterly and periodic public reports required by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Bats Global Markets is embracing the SEC’s reporting requirements in its effort to go public. It operates the second-largest stock exchange in the United States, behind the New York Stock Exchange and larger than Nasdaq. It handles about 20 percent of U.S. stock trading volume daily.
The filing indicates that Bats would sell shares, raising an undisclosed amount of money for the firm, and that some current shareholders also would offer their shares to the public through the offering.
The filing shows Bats generated $1.34 billion in revenue through the first nine months of this year, up 30 percent from the same period of 2014 and 51 percent more than it generated in all of 2012 when it first tried to go public.
Its net income through Sept. 30 this year was $60.5 million, nearly twice its profit in the same months of last year. Profit in all of 2012 was $31.6 million.
The 2012 effort to go public was canceled when a technical glitch disrupted trading in the newly public shares. Bats withdrew that stock offering, which would have raised about $100 million for its owners at the time.
Since then, the company has become the listing exchange for a number of exchange-traded funds. It also operates markets in Europe and markets in options and foreign currencies.