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July 3rd, 2007 by Jamie Estep

Where Visa is headed…

Filed in: Industry News |

Visa announced some months plans to take their company public in late 2007 or early 2008. I get about four questions a day asking if I know when Visa is going to go public. Here is my update on Visa.

Although Visa has still not named a date for their IPO, they have formally started the IPO process.

On June 22, Visa’s CEO John Coghlan resigned, as Visa hired Hans Morris from Citigroup to be the president of Visa through the IPO. The restructuring of Visa will include combining of Visa USA, Visa Canada, and Visa International, while Visa Europe will remain an independent organization.

My thoughts on the IPO:
I can’t see there being any chance of Visa’s IPO happening in 2007, so I would put it a few months into 2008 (Feb – Apr). Unfortunately, I think that Visa shares are going to be impossible extremely difficult to obtain pre-IPO. Looking at the success of Mastercard’s IPO, the fact that MasterCard shares have quadrupled in the past year or so, and that Visa has a much stronger pre-IPO brand than MasterCard, getting shares is going to be hard. Your best bet, unless you have million to invest, is to get into an investment group that is planning on bidding on a big chunk of Visa stock. Hopefully you can secure a few shares for yourself before the price explodes a few hours after the IPO.

The IPO’s impact:
It’s still unclear exactly how Visa’s IPO is going to impact consumers or businesses. On one hand, Visa will be concerned about public appearance, but on the other they are going to become a profit hungry monster, with a hand already in everyone’s back pocket. The other certainty is that some major companies (Walmart possibly) are going to be purchasing Visa stake in bulk. This will not only be one of the largest IPO’s in history, but could be the widest impacting public offering ever.

If you want to know immediately when Visa announces their IPO date, sign-up for the Merchant Account Blog’s RSS Feed. I will be blogging about Visa’s IPO as soon as I get information on when it is going to happen, or other changes.

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