ICE Is Considering Appeal After U.K. Requires Trayport Sale

Updated on
  • Atlanta-based ICE bought Trayport for about $650 million
  • CME Group tried to buy the company as part of GFI bid

Intercontinental Exchange Inc. says it will consider appealing the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority’s decision to require the exchange operator to sell its Trayport unit.

Trayport underpins about 85 percent of European utilities trading and ICE’s ownership of the firm could lead to increased fees, the CMA said Monday in a statement. Atlanta-based ICE, which bought Trayport from BGC Partners Inc. late last year for about $650 million, will consider an appeal, a spokesman said in an e-mail.

“The only effective way to preserve competition is to require ICE to sell Trayport,” said CMA inquiry chair Simon Polito.

Trayport’s technology helps brokers and energy producers trade power, natural gas and coal products in Europe. ICE already dominates European energy trading given its role in markets for refined products, natural gas and Brent crude oil, the primary global benchmark for oil.

The purchase kept Trayport out of the hands of ICE’s top competitor, CME Group Inc., which tried to buy it as part of its failed 2014 bid for GFI Group. BGC Partners Inc. ultimately purchased GFI and then sold Trayport to ICE.

“ICE is disappointed by the decision, having presented a compelling clearance case, and will now consider its options including the possibility of an appeal,” an ICE spokesman said in an e-mail Monday.