Nasdaq May Ask CME or ICE for Help in NYSE Counterbid, WSJ Says

Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. is considering partnering with either CME Group Inc. or Intercontinental Exchange Inc. to make a counterbid for NYSE Euronext, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the situation.

Deutsche Boerse AG agreed to buy NYSE Euronext on Feb. 15 in an all-share deal valued at about $10 billion. Nasdaq’s joint counter-offer would need to be around $11 billion to $12 billion to win approval from bond-rating companies, the newspaper said.

Neither CME nor ICE has agreed to join Nasdaq in pursuit of NYSE Euronext. ICE management may be more receptive to a joint offer, due to the attractiveness of NYSE’s European derivatives business, according to the newspaper.

Nasdaq management will only bid for NYSE Euronext if they consider success to be likely, the newspaper said. Nasdaq will decide whether to proceed with the counter-offer in the next week or two, according to the Journal.

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