EU gives ICE unconditional approval to acquire NYSE Euronext
The European Commission (EU) has given clearance to Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), an operator of global markets and clearing houses, to acquire NYSE Euronext without any conditions.
In a statement, EU said, "The market investigation revealed that they do not exert a greater potential competitive threat on each other compared to other exchanges."
Shareholders of both companies have already approved the $8.2bn transaction, which still requires clearance from the Euronext College of Regulators, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and other national financial regulators.
ICE chairman and CEO Jeffrey Sprecher said that the company welcomes the EC decision and will continue to work with the relevant national regulators during the process of reviewing and completing the transaction.
It also examined minor overlaps of the activities of the two companies in the fields of agricultural ETDs including barley, corn and milling wheat, foreign exchange derivatives and bond trading and found that it did not raise any concern.
Post acquisition, the acquirer will integrate the two exchange groups and create a global exchange operator diversified across markets including agricultural and energy commodities, credit derivatives, equities and equity derivatives, foreign exchange and interest rates.
After closing of the transaction, the acquirer will continue to maintain the NYSE Euronext brand and operate from dual headquarters in Atlanta and New York, as per terms of the definitive merger agreement inked in December 2012.
Jeffrey C Sprecher will serve as chairman and CEO of the integrated business and Scott Hill as CFO, whereas Duncan Niederauer will be appointed as the president and CEO of NYSE Group.
Morgan Stanley served as principal financial advisor to ICE, while further financial advice is being offered by BMO Capital Markets, Broadhaven Capital Partners, JPMorgan, Lazard, Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Banking, and Wells Fargo Securities.