Two bids for Knight Capital
are in, and they're now in the hands of the board.
Yesterday multiple publications reported
that one of the beleaguered market maker's summer saviors, fellow market maker Getco
, submitted a reverse merger offer. Now Jacob Bunge, Anupreeta Das and Jenny Strasburg of the Wall Street Journal report
that rival bidder Virtu
, another market maker already rumored to be in the running, submitted its bid yesterday, too. According to the pub, Knight's board is weighing the bids at a meeting this morning, after Getco public disclosed its bid and asked for quick consideration and an "exclusivity agreement."
Knight Capital is the second-biggest ETF market maker.
estimates that Getco's deal, which includes upfront cash of $3.50 each for about half the outstanding shares, values Knight at $1.4 billion to $1.8 billion, while Virtu's all-cash $3 per share offer values Knight at $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion.
Getco would put its own CEO Daniel Coleman
in charge post-merger, while pushing Knight chief Thomas Joyce
into the non-executive chairman role. Unnamed sources told the paper that Virtu would put Joyce in charge if they win.
The paper notes that Jefferies Group
agreed to put up to $950 million in financing behind Getco's offer. Getco owns 16 percent of Knight and Jefferies owns 23 percent, making it Knight's biggest shareholder.
Unnamed sources told the WSJ
and Credit Suisse
have committed to more than $1 billion in financing for Virtu's bid. And those sources said two private equity firms, including Virtu backer Silver Lake Partners
, are also discussing supporting Virtu's bid.
Neil Anderson, Managing Editor
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