Mumbai: Visa Inc, the world's largest credit card network, has raised a record $17.9 billion in an initial public offer as investors found a ray of hope in a market hit by the global credit crisis.
Visa sold 406 million class A common stock for $44 per share, above an expected range of $37 to $42.
Visa's $17.9 billion issue could become No. 2 worldwide after Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd raised $22 billion in 2006.
It, however, surpasses AT&T's $10.6 billion IPO in 2000, which was the record.
Underwriters, led by JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs, have the option to subscribe to an additional 40.6 million shares to cover overallotments, Visa and the banks said in regulatory filings.
Visa will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange tomorrow. Traders expect the stock to list at a minimum 10 per cent premium to the issue price.
Visa's stock sale was also helped by a rally that saw US stocks making their biggest one-day gains in more than five years
The Visa IPO was priced at around 25 times its earnings, compared to smaller rival MasterCard's IPO, which was priced at over 35 times earnings at the time of issue.
San Francisco-based Visa said it will use about $10.2 billion of the IPO proceeds to buy back shares held by its institutional shareholders, including JP Morgan & Co, Bank of America Corp, National City Corp and Citigroup Inc.
It will to set aside another $3 billion to cover litigation costs, and the balance for general corporate purposes, Visa said in its filing.