IntercontinentalExchange Inc. (ICE)’s plan to acquire NYSE Euronext, a proposal that preceded a $7 billion expansion in the companies’ combined market value, was approved by shareholders today.
The $9.7 billion takeover by Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Sprecher’s 12-year-old futures venue was ratified by 99.7 percent of shares voted at a special meeting of Atlanta-based ICE and about 99 percent at NYSE, according to statements. Shares of the New York Stock Exchange operator have rallied 67 percent and IntercontinentalExchange, known as ICE, climbed 33 percent since the deal was announced through May 31.
Sprecher’s acquisition shows how fast the American trading landscape been transformed in the past decade amid regulation to spur competition and the emergence of electronic markets. The NYSE, which along with the Nasdaq Stock Market handled almost all U.S. share transactions for most of its history, now accounts for less than 30 percent.
The takeover, still subject to regulatory approval in the U.S. and Europe, follows more than two years in which almost no deals were completed amid a global wave of proposed buyouts that exceeded $30 billion worth of offers. European regulators blocked the acquisition of NYSE Euronext (NYX) by Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1) in February 2012 while a bid by Singapore Exchange Ltd. (SGX) for Australia’s market operator was rejected by the government.
ICE, which bought the New York Board of Trade in 2007 and renamed it ICE Futures U.S., has said it will keep the NYSE Euronext brand. The merged company will maintain dual headquarters in Atlanta and New York.
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