May 22 (Reuters) - IMC Financial Markets has agreed to acquire Goldman Sachs Group Inc 's rights to operate as a designated market maker in more than 600 NYSE-listed stocks, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
The Dutch high-speed trading firm paid under $30 million, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the deal. IMC also plans to hire about 15 floor brokers from Goldman Sachs.
Designated market-makers, formerly known as "specialists", operate both manually and electronically to facilitate price discovery during market openings, closings and during periods of substantial trading imbalances or instability for thousands of NYSE-listed stocks.
Goldman acquired the designated market-maker unit as part of its $6.5 billion purchase in 2000 of Spear, Leeds & Kellogg.
Goldman Sachs plans to remain a broker on the New York Stock Exchange's trading floor executing trades on behalf of clients, the paper said.
Both IMC Financial Markets and Goldman Sachs could not be immediately reached for comment outside of normal business hours. (Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Eric Walsh)