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March 19, 2013 9:18 pm
In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, ICE said it would form a new holding company for both itself and NYSE Euronext, which operates exchanges in the US and Europe. Each share of ICE common stock will be converted into the right to receive one share of the new holding company, which will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange as ICE Group.
The change was made to meet requirements laid down by the Securities and Exchange Commission, which permits parties a maximum shareholding level in stock exchanges of just 20 per cent.
“The terms of the agreement, including consideration to be paid to NYSE Euronext shareholders, are substantially the same,” the filing said.
ICE is set to shake up global derivatives trading with its cash and shares deal to buy the New York Stock Exchange. However, ICE, which has emerged only in the past decade via energy and commodity trading, has designs on NYSE Liffe, the European derivatives exchange.
Ownership of it will allow ICE to trade interest rate derivatives, the most widely used derivatives for hedging risk, and create a rival to CME Group and Deutsche Börse as one of the world’s largest derivatives exchanges by contracts traded.
The deal comes amid a lull in industry volumes as global low interest rates, little economic growth and greater stability in the eurozone curb investor appetite for trading.
However, under its plan many of NYSE’s continental European assets, including the stock exchanges of Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Lisbon, are set to be floated in Europe. Dominique Cerutti, deputy chief executive of NYSE Euronext, has emerged as a frontrunner for the new European entity, according to people familiar with the situation.
ICE is finalising its discussions with European regulators ahead of filing its deal proposals to antitrust authorities. It hopes to complete the deal by the end of the year.
Last week Jeff Sprecher, chief executive of the ICE, called for more consolidation among European exchanges as regulation and the euro crisis combined to further the creation of a single market among the 27 euro states.
Exchanges should form a federation “where they accommodate the local markets for listing and capital raising but allow trading to happen cross-border”, he said.
Shares in ICE, up nearly 30 per cent this year, fell 0.3 per cent to $159.13. NYSE Euronext shares were down 0.3 per cent to $37.91.
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