Green light for ICE’s acquisition of NYSE Euronext

It’s been a long time coming, but European regulators have finally rubber-stamped Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) $11bn (£6.79bn) takeover of NYSE Euronext.

It’s been a long time coming, but European regulators have finally rubber-stamped Intercontinental Exchange’s (ICE) $11bn (£6.79bn) takeover of NYSE Euronext.

No doubt both parties, plus the enormous raft of lawyers involved, will be breathing a sigh of relief. They have, after all, been on tenterhooks since last December when both parties gave the deal the nod.

Plus, ICE’s previous bid to buy the exchange in conjunction with Nasdaq OMX in 2011 fell flat after antitrust regulators said it wouldn’t gain the necessary approvals.

The purchase puts the 14-year old ICE group in control of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in addition to bourses in Paris, Amsterdam, Lisbon and Brussels.

ICE turned to Sullivan & Cromwell and Shearman & Sterling for advice on the takeover. Meanwhile, NYSE Euronext enlisted a raft of firms including Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, Slaughter and May and Benelux firm Stibbe to represent it on various parts of the transaction. Loyens & Loeff and PLMJ advised on the Dutch and Portuguese sides of the deal respectively.

It’s the industry’s largest deal since the Chicago Mercantile Exchange bought the Chicago Board of Trade for $12bn back in 2007. And it poses a particularly pertinent question: will the move inspire a new wave of cross-border industry consolidation?

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