CME Delays Vote

A rival bid prevents a scheduled Wednesday event.
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The

Chicago Mercantile Exchange

(CME) - Get Report

canceled a scheduled shareholder vote on the proposed acquisition of the

Chicago Board of Trade

(BOT)

.

The derivatives exchange titan said it would reschedule the vote, originally planned for Wednesday, in light of a rival offer for the CBOT by the

Intercontinental Exchange

(ICE) - Get Report

.

ICE, which specializes in energy futures and commodities trading, said March 15 that it was interested in purchasing the CBOT. Its current offer, worth around $177.50 a share, is well above that of the CME, whose October bid is now worth around $164 a share. The spread between the two bids has closed in recent weeks, but both deals are still below the CBOT's current trading price -- indicating that Wall Street expects one side or the other to sweeten its offer.

Two weeks ago, the Board of Trade canceled its shareholder vote for the deal in order to review ICE's offer.

"We are confident that our definitive merger agreement with CBOT is based on a vastly superior strategic rationale and will offer significantly more lasting and sustainable value to the shareholders, customers and members of both exchanges," said Terry Duffy, the CME's executive chairman, in a release. "We have already demonstrated the ability to capture efficiencies with CBOT through our historic 2003 common clearing agreement and, more recently, our accelerated plans to integrate our trading floors and electronic trading platforms."

The CME said it still anticipates that a deal will be completed in the next few months.

Shares of the CBOT fell $1.98 to $187.01, while ICE fell $2.82 to $125.05 and the CME rose $2.74 to $546.62.