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New York Stock Exchange operator agrees to be sold for $8.2 billion

December 20, 2012|By Andrew Tangel
  • A flag flies on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange.
A flag flies on the facade of the New York Stock Exchange. (Richard Drew / Associated…)

NYSE Euronext, operator of the New York Stock Exchange, has agreed to sell itself to the IntercontinentalExchange in an acquisition that would reshape Wall Street.

ICE, a 12-year-old electronic exchange operator based in Atlanta, will pay $33.12 a share for NYSE Euronext in a stock-and-cash deal worth $8.2 billion.

The companies announced the acquisition early Thursday, saying both of their boards or directors unanimously approved the deal. The acquisition is slated to close in the second half of 2013, pending the blessing of U.S. and European regulators and both companies' shareholders.

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"This transaction leverages the strength of our iconic brand and the value we have created in our global equity and derivatives franchises -- positioning the business for solid long-term growth and development," Duncan Niederauer, chief executive of NYSE Euronext, said in a statement.

Although the New York Stock Exchange is the most public window into Wall Street, the Big Board's share of equities trading has declined sharply in recent years, as NYSE Euronext has expanded its trading venues in an increasingly electronic and fragmented marketplace.

Founded in 2000, ICE has grown into a leading venue for commodities and energy futures exchanges and derivatives clearinghouses.

NYSE Euronext's stock closed at $24.05 a share, with a market cap of $5.84 billion. The NYSE's stock was surging $10 a share, or 42%, in pre-market trading.

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