There are many on Wall Street who believe the upcoming New York Mercantile Exchange's IPO simply sets the stage for the company to be taken over down the road.While a takeover may be somewhere in the Nymex's far future, industry analysts say the 132-year-old exchange, which is looking to raise $250 million in an initial public offering, will need to reform its old-school ways before any suitors are likely to come knocking on its doors. The problem for Nymex is similar to the one the New York Stock Exchange ( NYX) faced before it went public by joining forces with the all-electronic stock exchange Archipelago. Like the old Big Board, the Nymex still operates much like a private club, with a hardened group of floor brokers and well-paid traders calling the shots from the trading pits. Critics say the clubby atmosphere at the Nymex is a big reason the commodities exchange has been slow to embrace electronic trading and has eschewed the cost-conscious ways of its peers. "Many of these guys have been in an energy pit for years," says one industry analyst who asked to be unnamed because of his firm's restrictions. "They want to maintain the status quo; they aren't forward-thinking." Nymex is one of the last institutions in the U.S. that still has the stereotypical trading pits that have become emblematic of bare-knuckled capitalism over the years. "Why do they need to yell and make funny gestures?" its Web site reads. "Three little words that make the world go round. Buy and Sell." Analysts say that until the floor brokers and floor-based traders show a willingness to adapt to newer technologies, potential suitors may keep their distance. That kind of change may be hard for some of the entrenched interests that dominate the Nymex, particularly since the exchange's traders are some of the highest earners on Wall Street.