Nasdaq says human error delays IPO

AP News
Posted: Dec 05, 2012 5:50 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The stock-market debut of WhiteHorse Finance finally happened after a few false starts.

The Nasdaq OMX Group blamed "human error" for a series of delays in the initial public offering of WhiteHorse Finance on Wednesday. When the company's stock made its entrance, only an hour was left before the closing bell, and WhiteHorse promptly sank from its $15 per share IPO price.

WhiteHorse ended the day down $1.10 to close at $13.90, a 7 percent drop in its first day of trading.

At 8:07 a.m., eastern time, Nasdaq welcomed WhiteHorse Finance to the "family" on its Twitter feed. More than an hour after the opening bell, the exchange pushed back the start time for trading in WhiteHorse Finance's stock, called the IPO "postponed," and then rescheduled trading to start at 3 p.m.

Orders before 2 p.m. were canceled, and the exchange said it would begin accepting new orders at that time.

Calls to Nasdaq for further explanation were not returned. A call to WhiteHorse Finance's investment manager, H.I.G. Capital also was not returned.

This isn't the exchange's first problem with an IPO. In May technical problems at Nasdaq led to a half-hour delay in the public debut of Facebook.

WhiteHorse Finance, a Miami-based lender to small companies, raised $100 million from investors in its IPO, selling 6.7 million shares at $15 each. Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase and the other banks that shepherded the company through the IPO process have the option to buy an additional 1 million shares.