Divestments loom as ICE takes over NYSE Euronext

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 November, 2013, 11:56am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 13 November, 2013, 2:10pm

IntercontinentalExchange’s takeover of NYSE Euronext is complete, and stock of the combined company begins trading under the symbol ICE on Wednesday, said the head of ICE, an exchange and clearing house operator.

The deal, which was worth US$10.9 billion as of November 1, gives ICE control of Liffe, Europe’s No 2 derivatives market, as well as the New York Stock Exchange, which has been at the centre of American capitalism since it was started in 1792.

ICE will announce within days which parts of NYSE it plans to keep and which parts it plans to divest, chief executive Jeffrey Sprecher said in an interview on Tuesday.

The firm said when it announced the deal in December last year that it expected to cut the majority of US$450 million of expenses from the combined company by the second full year after the deal closes.

The market needs to embrace change, but somebody’s got to stand up and take a leadership role and hopefully others will line up behind us and help support a vision
ICE chief executive Jeffrey Sprecher

Sprecher has been vocal in his criticism of the way the US equity markets function, saying problems brought on by rapid advances of technology, fragmentation and regulation need to be addressed and that the NYSE is the perfect place to shake things up.

“The market needs to embrace change, but somebody’s got to stand up and take a leadership role and hopefully others will line up behind us and help support a vision,” he said.

Sprecher, who has a history of eliminating the trading floors of the exchanges his company has bought, has vowed to keep open the NYSE floor.

NYSE’s website says the company has 2,993 employees, while ICE had 1,121 employees on September 30, according to a recent regulatory filing.

ICE also plans to spin off Euronext, which includes the Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon stock exchanges, in an initial public offering, likely next year.