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January 1, 2004

An IPO Planned by Nasdaq Rival

By Staff Reports

An ECN-turned-stock exchange for Nasdaq and listed issues may steal a march on Nasdaq. Archipelago Holdings, the parent of ArcaEx, has confirmed it has plans to go public in 2004.

If Arca's gambit succeeds, the IPO could raise the stakes for Nasdaq, which has been grappling for three years over its exchange applicaton. Nasdaq has also considered its own formal initial public offering of stock, pending exchange approval.

However, while Nasdaq's exchange plan has been impeded by regulatory scrutiny, Arca's exchange route has been relatively smooth. That's because Archipelago - a strong player in Nasdaq stock trading - created an alliance with the Pacific Exchange.

An official for Archipelago said it intends to conduct an IPO through a prospectus this year. It plans to file a shelf registration. Archipelago recently got a financial boost when General Atlantic Partners invested $125 million.