Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange’s $8.2 billion acquisition of NYSE Euronext appears to be headed for European Commission approval without conditions, according to a report by Reuters.
Reuters, quoting two people familiar with the EU’s position on the deal, said antitrust regulators found no concerns that the deal would place European commodities trading rivals of the new company at a competitive disadvantage.
ICE declined to comment. The company’s stock rose 3.3 percent Monday to $178.87 a share, up $5.72.
ICE is a global operator of exchanges that match buyers and sellers who trade commodities and derivatives based on commodities on an electronic platform. In describing his business to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last year, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Sprecher said, “It’s similar to what you would do on eBay.”
“We also provide ‘clearing,’ similar to PayPal,” Sprecher said in the May interview. “In the case of clearing, however, we become the buyer to every seller and the seller to every buyer. So we guarantee the payment of every trade by sticking ourselves in the middle. We get a commission for a sale on the trading platform. And we get a second commission by clearing.”
NYSE Euronext is a global operator of financial markets and provider of trading technologies. Its U.S. and European exchanges trade equities, futures, options, fixed-income and exchange-traded products. The company was created in 2007 by the combination of NYSE Group Inc. and Euronext N.V.
The deal will give ICE control of Europe’s second-largest derivatives market, called Liffe, and boost its presence in the interest rate futures business.
One person with knowledge of the pending EU decision told Reuters that ICE’s plans to cap trading fees for some Liffe commodities, such as coffee, cocoa and sugar, for five years and put product committees in place helped ease any antitrust concerns.
At a special meeting in New York earlier this month, a majority of the NYSE’s shareholders voted in favor of the ICE deal, which was announced in December. A majority of ICE’s shareholders also voted to approve it.
The commission is expected to make its official announcement on the ICE-NYSE Euronext deal by June 24.
The new company’s stock would be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under ICE’s current stock symbol, “ICE.”