ICE Sets Euronext IPO Price Range, Value Could Reach $2.4B

BRUSSELS (The Deal) -- IntercontinentalExchange Group (ICE) on Tuesday set an indicative price range for the IPO of Euronext that values the European exchanges operator at up to 1.75 billion euros ($2.4 billion).

ICE, which also owns the New York Stock Exchange, said it will sell up to 42.1 million shares, or almost 60.2% of the company, at between 19 euros and 25 euros a share, valuing Euronext at between 1.33 billion euros and 1.75 billion euros.

The IPO comes seven months after ICE acquired Euronext -- along with the Liffe derivatives business -- through its $11 billion purchase of NYSE Euronext. At that time, ICE said it would spin off Euronext by this summer to address regulators' concerns about a trans-Atlantic powerhouse.

The IPO will restore Euronext to independence for the first time since 2007, when it was scooped up by NYSE Group Inc. for about $8.2 billion.

"Euronext's role in supporting the real economies of Europe will be further strengthened by our independence," Euronext CEO Dominique Cerutti said in a statement Tuesday. "We believe that we are well positioned to develop our markets across Europe, by optimizing our underexploited businesses and repositioning as a leading capital raising center."

The newly independent exchange will be listed in Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels and eventually also Lisbon.

In 2011, ICE teamed up with Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. for an $11 billion hostile bid for NYSE Euronext, only to be blocked by U.S. regulators. The following year, NYSE Euronext's attempt to join forces with Deutsche Boerse AG was blocked by the European Commission. Deutsche Boerse has meanwhile appealed against the EC's February 2012 veto before the EU's highest course in Luxembourg.

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