ICE Says It Has Entered Agreement with CBOT

IntercontinentalExchange says the agreement resolves issues that could prevented an ICE and Chicago Board Options Exchange merger.

IntercontinentalExchange and CME Holdings are making rival attempts to buy Chicago Board of Trade Holdings, and according to ICE, it has reached an agreement with the Chicago Board Options Exchange that would resolve crucial issues in the context of an ICE and CBOT Holdings merger.

ICE says that its offer would provide CBOT Full Members with immediate value for their exercise rights and the ability to hold equity in CBOE following its planned demutualization, while CME Holdings' proposal would not provide a resolution to that issue.

Jeffrey C. Sprecher, CEO of ICE, touts his side's offer as better for stockholders. "We believe this agreement enhances our already superior proposal to merge with CBOT and underscores ICE's innovation and leadership," he says in an ICE statement.

William J. Brodsky, CBOE Chairman and CEO, sounded enthusiastic. "We are pleased that ICE sought to address the exercise right issue and we are delighted to participate in a proposal that provides significant benefits for each organization. The offer provides CBOT members with substantial value, liquidity, and for those who choose, equity participation in CBOE."

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