SAN BRUNO -- In the four years since its launch, SharesPost has helped people unload stock in hundreds of private companies -- shaking up the IPO market and engendering controversy in the process.
But that's all about to change. On Wednesday, the San Bruno company, one of several that run "secondary markets" to buy and sell stock in companies that aren't publicly traded, will announce that it has effectively sold the platform to the Nasdaq exchange.
Bruce Aust, who oversees initial public offerings for Nasdaq, said the stock exchange has watched the growth of SharesPost and competitors like SecondMarket with keen interest.
"Companies are staying private longer. They have other ways to access capital, but some employees and early investors want liquidity," he said in an interview with this newspaper.
And with passage by Congress last year of the JOBS Act, which lets companies stay private even longer than in the past, Nasdaq officials clearly want a piece of the action.
Terms weren't disclosed for the deal -- which technically isn't a sale, but a joint venture, with Nasdaq the majority partner.
But SharesPost CEO Greg Brogger said his company no longer will offer its own market for private-company stocks. Instead, it will be one of potentially many broker-deals who'll help match buyers and sellers on the new Nasdaq Private Market.
The new service will launch later this year pending regulatory approval.
A year ago, SharesPost and Brogger paid a collective $100,000 to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that the company had traded securities without registering as a broker-dealer. The SEC brought the charges after a yearlong investigation of fast-growing secondary exchanges.
Contact Peter Delevett at 408-271-3638. Follow him at Twitter.com/mercwiretap.