The IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) and NYSE Euronext (NYSE) both announced that shareholders from the two public firms have approved ICE’s proposed acquisition of NYSE. The merger, which was announced in December 2012 combines the NYSE’s LIFFE derivatives division with that of the ICE. Although the NYSE is the best known brand among the two companies, the merger is being regarded as a means for the ICE to bolster its derivatives trading to better compete with that of the CME Group and its Globex electronic trading platform. At current levels, the combined firms will have a market cap of around $21 billion.
At the time of the merger, we wrote that the combined firms could lead to increase FX volumes. While the ICE has a diverse FX product base, and robust trading in its Dollar Index products, overall volumes are well below that of the CME. However, we wrote back in December that the combined derivatives products could lead to more traders embracing the ICE’s platform, which would lead to across the board gains in volumes among different asset classes.
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Commenting on the shareholder voting results ICE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey C. Sprecher said “the overwhelming approval by our shareholders confirms our belief that the combined company will be even better positioned to serve customers by combining our respective areas of expertise to create value for our customers and shareholders.”