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ICE Sets Euronext IPO Price Range, Value Could Reach $2.4B

BRUSSELS (The Deal) -- IntercontinentalExchange Group (ICE - Get Report) on Tuesday set an indicative price range for the IPO of Euronext that values the European exchanges operator at up to 1.75 billion euros ($2.4 billion).

ICE, which also owns the New York Stock Exchange, said it will sell up to 42.1 million shares, or almost 60.2% of the company, at between 19 euros and 25 euros a share, valuing Euronext at between 1.33 billion euros and 1.75 billion euros.

The IPO comes seven months after ICE acquired Euronext -- along with the Liffe derivatives business -- through its $11 billion purchase of NYSE Euronext. At that time, ICE said it would spin off Euronext by this summer to address regulators' concerns about a trans-Atlantic powerhouse.

The IPO will restore Euronext to independence for the first time since 2007, when it was scooped up by NYSE Group Inc. for about $8.2 billion.

"Euronext's role in supporting the real economies of Europe will be further strengthened by our independence," Euronext CEO Dominique Cerutti said in a statement Tuesday. "We believe that we are well positioned to develop our markets across Europe, by optimizing our underexploited businesses and repositioning as a leading capital raising center."

The newly independent exchange will be listed in Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels and eventually also Lisbon.

In 2011, ICE teamed up with Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. for an $11 billion hostile bid for NYSE Euronext, only to be blocked by U.S. regulators. The following year, NYSE Euronext's attempt to join forces with Deutsche Boerse AG was blocked by the European Commission. Deutsche Boerse has meanwhile appealed against the EC's February 2012 veto before the EU's highest course in Luxembourg.

A group of more than 10 financial institutions including Portugal's Banco Espirito Santo SA and France's BNP Paribas SA will buy a combined 33.36% for 4% less than whatever the eventual IPO price is, up to a maximum price of 26 euros a share. Other institutional shareholders have committed to buy 2% of the shares at the IPO price.

The offer period for retail investors is due to run through June 18, and for institutional investors until June 19.

ABN Amro Bank NV, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Societe Generale SA are acting as joint global coordinators of the IPO, with Goldman Sachs International, ING Bank NV and Morgan Stanley acting as joint book runners.

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, BMO Capital Markets, Banco BPI SA, CM-CIC Securities, Espirito Santo, KBC Securities and Mitsubishi UFJ Securities will act as lead managers.

BNP Paribas is advising the Euronext board on the IPO.

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