LONDON, AMSTERDAM, and GRONINGEN, Netherlands, Sept. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE: ICE), a leading operator of global regulated futures exchanges, clearing houses and over-the-counter markets, and gas infrastructure company Gasunie today announced an agreement to form a new company based on the derivatives and spot gas exchange of APX-ENDEX. ICE has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in the derivatives and spot gas business of APX-ENDEX and Gasunie will retain a shareholding at a similar level to its current APX-ENDEX shareholding. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20090727/CL51999LOGO ) The agreement follows today's announcement that APX-ENDEX will rearrange and demerge its business into two separate entities: a power spot and clearing business and a derivatives and spot natural gas business. The gas business includes derivatives and spot trading around the Title Transfer Facility (TTF) Virtual Trading Point in the Netherlands - one of continental Europe's leading natural gas trading hubs, as well as the UK On-the-Day Commodity Market (OCM) and the Belgian Zeebrugge Trading Point (ZTP) to launch at the end of September. Under the terms of the agreement, ICE will acquire 79.12% of the derivatives and spot gas business of APX-ENDEX. Gasunie, as an existing shareholder of APX-ENDEX, will retain the remaining 20.88% stake. The transaction consideration for ICE will be funded by cash on hand and the transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2013. ICE and Gasunie recognise the important and strategic role that natural gas plays in the current and future energy requirements of Europe. As well as providing an efficient and alternative energy source for the region, natural gas also facilitates the development of a low-carbon economy for the future. "The acquisition of a majority stake in APX-ENDEX's derivatives and spot gas business enables ICE to strengthen our offering to customers in continental Europe by providing a comprehensive energy marketplace and represents a significant step in expanding ICE's global commodity markets. As an important energy trading hub and a strong European economy, the Netherlands is an ideal geographical location for ICE's expansion into continental Europe. The derivatives and spot gas business will benefit from ICE's world class trading and clearing expertise," said David Peniket, President & Chief Operating Officer, ICE Futures Europe. "We are delighted to partner with Gasunie, an experienced and important company in the European gas infrastructure industry, to embark on this new strategic venture. Together, we intend to further develop a highly liquid and efficient continental European platform for hedging and trading in the gas and power markets, as well as providing intra-day and balancing mechanisms for TTF and ZTP, the UK OCM and other spot gas markets," added Peniket.