ICE agrees to buy NYSE for $8.2 billion

ICE agrees to buy NYSE for $8.2 billion

PARIS - Agence France-Presse
ICE agrees to buy NYSE for $8.2 billion

New York Stock Exchange agreed to an $8.2 billion takeover from ICE. AFP photo

U.S. commodities and derivatives market InterContinentalExchange (ICE) has agreed to buy is transatlantic peer NYSE Euronext for $8.2 billion in a deal that would create the world’s biggest market operator, the two companies said Dec. 20.

The deal, which is expected to be finalized in the second half of next year subject to regulatory approvals, was unanimously approved by the boards of both market operators, a joint statement said.
ICE chief executive Jeffrey Sprecher told a conference call that he and Duncan Niederauer of the NYSE had met with several regulators, particularly in Europe, and said the plan had been “well received.”

200-year existence comes to an end

“You can see on its face that the businesses we have are complementary to one another and not competitive to one another,” Sprecher added.

If the takeover is completed, the New York Stock Exchange’s nearly 200-year existence as an independent financial market will come to an end, while Atlanta-based ICE will substantially expand its profile. The deal would also put both companies in a position to benefit from an expected equities market recovery, they said, especially if interest rates rise, which could boost trading on a London futures market owned by NYSE Euronext.

The combined group is preparing a plan to sell shares in stock market unit Euronext, “as a Continental European-based entity,” if there is support for such an operation from European policymakers and the markets, the statement added. Euronext operates the main stock exchanges in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Lisbon. NYSE Euronext includes the New York Stock Exchange and the European derivatives market Liffe.