December 5, 2012 / 6:05 PM / 7 years ago

Nasdaq reschedules botched WhiteHorse IPO

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nasdaq said the initial public offering of WhiteHorse Finance Inc (WHF.O) failed to go off on schedule Wednesday morning due to “human error,” and the offering was rescheduled for later in the day.

The error brought back memories of Nasdaq’s botched Facebook (FB.O) IPO in May.

Nasdaq said in an email to its customers, “Due to a NASDAQ human error, the initial public offering of WhiteHorse Finance Inc has been rescheduled for approximately 3:00 p.m. EST.”

Nasdaq had agreed with WhiteHorse and its underwriter to push trading beyond the 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT) slot scheduled earlier. But instead of extending the IPO, a person on Nasdaq’s market surveillance team canceled it, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter, who was not cleared to speak publicly about it.

“This was a human error, this wasn’t a trading system or a computerized glitch,” the source said.

Nasdaq said all open and pending orders entered for the IPO would be canceled and new orders would start being taken at 2 p.m. EST (1900 GMT).

Nasdaq spokesman Joe Christinat said the company had no comment on the IPO beyond emails sent to customers on the matter.

“At the end of the day, you don’t want to see this, especially post-Facebook,” said Chris Allen, an exchanges analyst at Evercore Partners. “But mistakes happen. It’s bad luck.”

Market makers claimed to have lost hundreds of millions of dollars in the Facebook IPO fiasco.

The WhiteHorse offering consists of 6.67 million shares and had priced at $15 per share, the company said earlier. Whitehorse is a business development company that originates and invests in loans to privately held small-cap companies.

Nasdaq OMX shares (NDAQ.O) were down 1.6 percent at $23.78, underperforming a 0.5 percent decline on the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC.

Reporting by John McCrank, Jonathan Spicer and Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Leslie Adler and John Wallace

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