SAN FRANCISCO — Credit crunch, what credit crunch, appeared to be motto adopted by Visa USA on Feb. 25 when the card brand revealed some more of the details of its initial public offering of stock that has been scheduled for Mar. 20.
Should everything go according to plan, which skeptics point out almost never happens, the card brand will raise a record $19 billion from the initial offering, some of which will wind up in the hands of retailers seeking settlements of legal cases but some will end up in the pockets of financial institution issuers, including credit unions.
According to documents Visa filed with the Security and Exchange Commission, Visa said it will offer roughly 406 million shares at between $37 and $42 apiece and there will be room to offer more shares if the demand seems to require it.
Analysts have said that the card IPO may have the strength to break with the recent down trend which has characterized the most recent market for initial offerings. Media sources have reported, for example, that so far this year there has only been $603 million raised in IPOs listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.
Analysts have expressed optimism about the offering in the press, pointing out that Visa and MasterCard do not lend money directly to cardholders, as other card brands do, and instead make their money off the growing stream of electronic payments.