Nasdaq, SharesPost team up on private stock market

AP News
Posted: Mar 06, 2013 12:15 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. said Wednesday it will partner with private stock exchange SharesPost to develop a new market for unlisted companies.

The new venture will offer early investors, founders and employees of private companies a platform to buy and sell company shares. The so-called Nasdaq Private Market will be based in San Francisco and led by SharesPost founder Greg Brogger. Nasdaq will own most of the new exchange.

"By combining our resources, expertise and reach with SharesPost's established technology, we will bring scale, efficiency and transparency to this marketplace," Nasdaq Executive Vice President Bruce Aust said in a statement.

The exchange is expected to launch later this year, following regulatory approvals.

The collaboration could help both companies shore up their reputations after recent stumbles.

Nasdaq was heavily criticized by investors for technical problems in its handling of Facebook's initial public offering last May. The exchange later agreed to hand out $40 million in cash and credit to reimburse investment firms that got ensnared by the glitches.

SharesPost has benefited from increasing interest in trading companies that have not yet gone public, handling early shares of Facebook, LinkedIn and other tech firms. However, the company has come under scrutiny from regulators investigating the market for private shares.

Last year the Securities and Exchange Commission charged SharesPost with failing to register as a securities brokerage. The company settled the charges for $100,000 and has since registered itself.