The high-speed trading firm decided late Tuesday to move back the launch of the deal by at least a week, the people said. The New York-based company, which had initially expected to begin marketing the IPO by Friday, still intends to move forward with the offering.
The delay comes amid negative attention focused on the high-frequency trading industry following the release of journalist Michael Lewis’s book “Flash Boys.” Lewis said in the book and in interviews promoting it this week that he believes the stock market is rigged in favor of superfast traders who are able to “front run” ordinary investors using computers located inside the exchanges.
The building controversy surrounding the book and its market impact were part of the decision made by the company and its advisers to delay the deal, some of the people said. For example, shares of trading firm KCG Holdings Inc. were off 3.3% Tuesday.
A number of regulators and investigators, including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, are also examining high-frequency trading and its role in the markets.
Virtu is seeking to raise between $200 million and $250 million in the offering, which would give it a valuation of roughly $3 billion, according to people familiar with the plans.