CHICAGO, June 16 CME Group Inc CME.N, the
world's largest derivatives exchange, on Monday cleared a key
hurdle in its planned purchase of NYMEX Holdings Inc NMX.N
when the deal got the blessing of the U.S. Department of
CME had said in January it planned to buy NYMEX, a big
energy and metals market, and thus consolidate its stranglehold
on the U.S. futures business.
Some industry watchers had expected more push-back from the
DOJ to a deal that would give a single company a 95 percent
share of the U.S. futures business.
On June 5, CME said it had resubmitted its pre-merger
filing to give the Justice Department more time to review the
"We were confident that the Department of Justice would
approve our combination," CME Group Executive Chairman Terry
Duffy said in a statement.
The companies said the merger was likely to close in the
fourth quarter, and generate some $60 million in cost synergies
-- unchanged from earlier estimates.
The deal remains subject to approvals by regulators,
shareholders of both companies and NYMEX members, as well as
the satisfaction of various closing conditions.
At least 75 percent of NYMEX members must vote in favor of
the purchase. Some are opposing the deal, insisting that CME
sweeten the terms.
The value of the purchase hinges on the price of CME
shares, which have fallen heavily since peaking at almost $715
in January. From an original value of over $11 billion, the
NYMEX deal is now valued at under $9 billion.
"We continue to believe that CME Group is the best
strategic partner for NYMEX," NYMEX Chairman Richard Schaeffer
Top NYMEX executives, including Schaeffer, are in line for
multi-million-dollar payouts under terms set for the deal in
documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
CME shares closed on Monday at $419.41, up $4.51 or 1.1
percent, while NYMEX rose $1.66, or 1.9 percent, to $89.58.
(Reporting by Ros Krasny; Editing by Braden Reddall)