Talk about a face-off.
Bitter rivals Duncan Niederauer’s New York Stock Exchange and Robert Greifeld’s Nasdaq are locked in a heated battle for Facebook’s listing when the privately held social-networking giant attempts to raise an eye-popping $10 billion in stock in the coming weeks, according to the New York Post.
“It’s a very heated battle,” Larry Tabb, founder of capital markets advisory firm Tabb Group, confirmed, saying the race so far may be too close to call.
“I’d hate to say that one exchange is in a more dominant position than the other at this point,” Tabb added.
For either exchange platform, winning a Facebook listing — the most anticipated tech IPO since Google went public in 2004 by selling $1.7 billion in stock — could jump- start an equity market that has been hamstrung by the European fiscal crisis.
Equity-trading volumes this month are down 16 percent from last January with an average 6.8 billion shares changing hands daily — the lowest volume since 2008, according the data from the Tabb Group.
But more importantly, a Facebook listing could add much-needed panache to one of the exchanges — both of which have been struggling to beef up their Street cred.
Indeed, Niederauer successfully turned aside a surprise takeover bid from Greifeld’s Nasdaq and the IntercontinentalExchange.
And Niederauer has been spanning the globe to try to revive a floundering tie-up with Germany’s Deutsche Boerse — although yesterday he said that deal was nearly dead.
Historically, Greifeld’s Nasdaq has been the listing platform du jour for hip, new monied tech start-ups.
But in recent years, the NYSE has responded by being more aggressive in courting tech companies onto its platform in the lead-up to Facebook.
For example, NYSE has increased its outreach to the tech space by purchasing advertising space on a billboard in Silicon Valley on highway 101, showing tech start-ups that have agreed to list on the Big Board.
Meanwhile, sources say that Nasdaq has been touting its ability to provide additional support to any new IPOs by buying shares through exchange traded funds known as QQQs.