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ETF Gold Mine Is Prize in CBOE’s $3.2 Billion Bats Acquisition

  • CBOE gets foothold in growing market for ETFs with Bats deal
  • CME Group said to eye its own strategies to enter ETF trading

CBOE Holdings Inc.’s $3.2 billion deal to acquire Bats Global Markets Inc. is some of the strongest evidence yet of exchange-traded funds’ growing importance on Wall Street.

The purchase, announced Monday by the owner of the Chicago Board Options Exchange, gives CBOE a major player in U.S. and European stock trading. Though regulatory and technological changes have largely diminished profits for stock exchanges, ETFs are breathing new life into the business. Bats handles about a quarter of the funds’ trading volume in the U.S., meaning CBOE is buying a significant beachhead.