NYSE’s Owner to Buy Chicago Stock Exchange

The sale of the last U.S. regional stock exchange follows the collapse of its deal to be acquired by a Chinese-led investor group.
Matthew HellerApril 5, 2018

Two months after the collapse of a sale to a Chinese-led investor group, the Chicago Stock Exchange has agreed to be acquired by the owner of the New York Stock Exchange.

The acquisition by Intercontinental Exchange, the world’s leading exchange operator, would end the independence of the last U.S. regional stock exchange. Terms were not disclosed but The Wall Street Journal has reported that the price being discussed was $70 million.

That price would easily top the prior $27 million bid from a group led by China’s Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group that failed in February amid opposition to Chinese participation in the deal from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“After an in-depth review of strategic alternatives for CHX, we believe this transaction is clearly in the best interests of CHX stockholders and positions the organization well going forward,” CHX Holdings Chairman Matthew Frymier said in a news release.

In blocking the proposed sale to Casin, the SEC cited a lack of transparency about the source of funds for the deal and the ownership structure. The commission’s move ended a two-year battle to gain approval for the sale.

The Chicago exchange handles less than 1% of U.S. equities trades but President Donald Trump brought the Casin deal sale up during the election campaign as an example of how jobs and wealth were leaving the United States.

Now, instead of becoming a potential outpost for Chinese firms seeking to raise money from U.S. investors, the Chicago market will “be swallowed by the country’s best-known exchange operator, which is well positioned to win regulatory approval,” The Wall Street Journal said.

“ICE is a proven innovator in the Exchange space and we are looking forward to joining its family of exchanges,” said John Kerin, CEO of the Chicago exchange.