) --

NYSE Euronext


said Wednesday it agreed to sell a "significant" equity interest in NYSE Amex options, one of its two options exchanges in the U.S.

NYSE Euronext said Wednesday in a statement it would remain the largest shareholder in the entity.

The deal was reached with

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report


Barclays Capital

(BCS) - Get Report


Citadel Securities



(C) - Get Report


Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report


TD Ameritrade

(AMTD) - Get Report



(UBS) - Get Report

, the exchange operator said.

NYSE Euronext said the deal aims to "enhance the competitive position of NYSE Amex options, while bringing competitive and operational benefits to the marketplace." Market share at the NYSE Amex unit, which was bought last year as part of the acquisition of the American Stock Exchange, has fallen to about 7% from more than 30% a decade ago, according to the

Wall Street Journal


NYSE Euronext would continue to manage the day-to-day operations of NYSE Amex options, but the business would have a separate board and CEO.

The transaction, the terms of which weren't announced, could be completed by the end of 2009, NYSE Euronext said.

-- Reported by Joseph Woelfel in New York


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