IntercontinentalExchange will buy NYSE Euronext, the operator of the venerable New York Stock Exchange as well as some leading European exchanges, in an $8.2 billion cash and stock deal, the companies announced Thursday.
The deal values NYSE Euronext at $33.12 a share, a premium of 38 percent over Wednesday's closing price in New York. Shares of NYSE Euronext rose as high as $31 in after-hours trading Wednesday on reports of the deal, while shares of ICE were up 3 percent in after-hours trading as well. Trading was halted for pending news early Thursday ahead of the announcement.
The NYSE lists shares of most of the nation's leading companies, and its trading floor is the very symbol of Wall Street. But trading stocks has been overshadowed in recent years by the growing importance of derivatives and options. ICE, which operates commodities and derivatives markets around the world, has a larger market value than NYSE Euronext, even though it is not as well known by the general public.
Last April Atlanta-based ICE joined with NASDAQ OMX Group to make a joint $11 billion hostile bid for NYSE Euronext. But NYSE Euronext rebuffed the offer, preferring to merge with Deutsche Bourse, the German stock Exchange.
ICE and NASDAQ had to drop that effort when the potential deal was blocked by the U.S. Justice Department on anti-trust grounds. European regulators eventually blocked the deal with Deutsche Bourse as well, leaving NYSE Euronext still looking for a partner.