ICE Goes North

It makes a Canadian exchange buy.
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The

InterContinental Exchange

(ICE) - Get Report

is going North.

The Atlanta-based futures and commodities exchange agreed to pay $37.6 million for the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange, a Canadian agricultural commodity and futures exchange. It expects the deal to be completed in the third quarter.

The Canadian acquisition comes at a busy time for ICE.

The exchange has been in a heated battle with the

Chicago Mercantile Exchange

(CME) - Get Report

for ownership of the

Chicago Board of Trade

(BOT)

. The exchange's current $11.9 billion bid is worth some $25 a share above the CME's offer, according to a letter ICE sent to CBOT shareholders this week. ICE started the bidding war in March.

CBOT shareholders are expected to vote on a CME-CBOT deal on July 9.

Friday's acquisition will complement its movement into the soft commodity business with its purchase of the New York Board of Trade in January, ICE says.

The Winnipeg exchange trades the WCE Canola futures contract -- the leading canola futures contract in the world. It also trades barley, wheat and flaxseed contracts, among other things.

The Winnipeg exchange has an electronic trading services agreement with the CBOT. ICE said it plans to convert trading in the Winnipeg exchange's markets to its own electronic platform.

Shares of ICE rose 95 cents to $159.50.