Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. made an offer last year to buy NYSE Euronext, conditioned on the exchange operator selling its European derivatives business, said two people familiar with the matter.
Berkshire is “Company A” named in a regulatory filing today as making a Nov. 28 bid, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the offer wasn’t public. Perella Weinberg Partners LP, an adviser to NYSE Euronext, contacted Company A, whose proposal was less than the $8.2 billion bid from IntercontinentalExchange Inc. that the NYSE eventually accepted. Company A is called a “large industrial and financial holding company” in the document, dated Jan. 25.
NYSE, which owns the biggest exchanges by value of listings in the U.S., France and the Netherlands, said on Dec. 20 that it will be acquired by IntercontinentalExchange, known as ICE. Buffett built Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire into a $242 billion company by investing premiums from insurance operations and taking stakes in companies from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to General Electric Co.
CME Group Inc., the world’s largest futures exchange, approached NYSE in October last year about a deal with its derivatives business, according to two people familiar with the situation. The Chicago-based exchange, which also offered to clear for NYSE’s Liffe U.K. derivatives exchange, and NYSE didn’t start formal negotiations, the people said.
Richard Adamonis, a spokesman for NYSE Euronext, declined to comment as did Anita Liskey, a spokeswoman for CME in Chicago. Buffett didn’t respond to a request for comment sent to an assistant.
ICE, based in Atlanta, said on Dec. 20 it will pay $33.12 a share for the owner of the New York Stock Exchange. Both boards approved the proposal and the companies expect to complete the transaction in the second half of 2013.
Shares of New York-based NYSE Euronext were little changed at $33.61 as of 1:22 p.m. in New York today.
European derivatives accounted for 19 percent of NYSE Euronext’s third-quarter net revenue, down from 22 percent a year ago, according to a November presentation from the New York-based company.