Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. (NDAQ) persuaded Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT) to move its listing from the New York Stock Exchange, scoring the largest-ever company to switch markets three weeks after it botched Facebook Inc.’s initial public offering.
Kraft said it will shift to the Nasdaq Stock Market on June 26, according to a statement today. The switch will “yield greater cost efficiencies, while providing visibility advantages for the company’s iconic brands,” the company said. Kraft will retain its KFT ticker symbol.
Kraft is the first Dow Jones Industrial Average company ever to switch exchanges, according to Nasdaq spokesman Joseph Christinat, and the biggest by market capitalization to leave the NYSE for its rival. The departure is a larger loss for the NYSE than Texas Instruments Inc. (TXN), which announced a move in December. Kraft was valued at $67.6 billion yesterday, compared with Texas Instruments at $32 billion on Dec. 14, the day before its change was revealed.
“Any win by Nasdaq is going to be viewed in the marketplace very positively,” Larry Tabb, chief executive officer of Tabb Group LLC in New York, said in an interview. “It’s great the Nasdaq folks were able to land it. It’s a premier company.”
Kraft is splitting in two this year. The original company will be renamed Mondelez International Inc., while the spinoff will be called Kraft Foods Group Inc. Both entities will trade on Nasdaq, Kraft said today.
“You win some, you lose some,” NYSE Euronext (NYX) Chief Executive Officer Duncan Niederauer said today at a Sandler O’Neill & Partners LP conference in New York. “You’re not going to win every one.”
Nasdaq OMX’s computer systems used to establish the opening price for Facebook were overwhelmed on May 18 by order cancellations and updates for the IPO. After the exchange repaired the problem, order updates for 30 million shares didn’t participate in the auction because of an error, Nasdaq said in a notice the next day.
The second-biggest U.S. stock exchange operator is seeking Securities and Exchange Commission approval of a plan to set aside $40 million for brokers whose Facebook orders were mishandled.
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