updated 2/16/2006 3:17:26 PM ET 2006-02-16T20:17:26

MasterCard Inc., the nation’s second-largest credit card brand, on Thursday said it will postpone its initial public offering until the second quarter as its chief executive recovers from prostate cancer surgery.

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The company had been expected to list on the New York Stock Exchange during the first quarter. However, MasterCard said President and CEO Bob Selander was recently diagnosed with the cancer, which would have made touting the IPO in an investor road show more difficult.

The IPO was expected to raise about $2.5 billion for Purchase, N.Y.-based MasterCard.

Selander said in a letter sent to the Securities and Exchange Commission that “the operation was successful” and his “prognosis excellent.” He is now working from home, and expects to be back in the office in early March.

“While I have already resumed my normal responsibilities, I have been advised not to undertake a demanding travel schedule, such as a road show, over the next couple of months,” he said in the letter. “We expect that this, combined with the timelines for our first quarter results, will mean a delay in our transition to a new structure until the second quarter of 2006.”

There was speculation earlier this month that MasterCard was delaying the IPO. At the time, the company could not confirm or deny questions about the IPO because of the so-called “quiet period” the SEC imposes.

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