Deutsche Boerse Says Not in ISE-Disposal Talks With Banks

Deutsche Boerse AG said it hasn’t held talks for the sale of International Securities Exchange Holdings Inc., the U.S. options business it acquired in 2007.

“All of this is just speculation and rumors,” Chief Financial Officer Gregor Pottmeyer said in an analyst call today, referring to reports that the exchange operator is considering selling ISE. “We did not open up a selling process or a concrete process with any bank.”

Deutsche Boerse had been studying the disposal of ISE internally for several months, people familiar with the matter said in June. ISE, which the company bought for $2.8 billion, may fetch $1 billion to $1.5 billion in a sale, one of the people said at the time.

The number of U.S. options contracts on ISE fell 18 percent in the second quarter to 142 million, according to a statement yesterday. Even so, Pottmeyer said he remains optimistic about mid- to long-term growth. The company has written off more than one-third of the value of the ISE purchase amid a slowing growth in options trading.

The operator of the Frankfurt stock exchange and the Eurex futures market posted a decline in second-quarter profit, saying low market volatility and interest rates hurt results. Earnings before interest and taxes fell to 235.8 million euros ($317 million), from 256.3 million euros a year earlier. Analysts on average had estimated 232.4 million euros. Net revenue for the quarter fell 1.8 percent to 488.4 million euros.

Deutsche Boerse said it probably won’t start a new share buyback program in the next quarter.

“An additional share buyback program requires a material increase in trading volumes,” Pottmeyer said. “As seen in the second quarter, there’s clearly a decline.”

Shares of Deutsche Boerse slid 0.5 percent to 54 euros at 4:06 p.m. in Frankfurt today.

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