ICE's CEO says has fielded calls about selling Euronext

Mon Jan 28, 2013 2:38pm EST
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By Christine Stebbins

MIAMI BEACH, Florida (Reuters) - IntercontinentalExchange Inc (ICE.N: Quote) has received inquiries from rivals interested in buying NYSE Euronext's NYX.N European stock exchanges once ICE completes its planned purchase of the New York-based exchange operator, ICE's chief executive said on Monday.

Jeff Sprecher, whose $8.2 billion deal to buy the Big Board parent took markets by surprise in late 2012, said he is not considering any offers.

"We have received calls from other exchanges," Sprecher told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the Commodity Markets Council's annual meeting of exchange leaders and their customers. "It's not ICE's business to sell. We only have an agreement to buy it, but it's subject to a lot of approvals and shareholder votes. It's not a done deal so it's not even my position that I could even entertain those type of conversations.

He did not say which exchanges had made inquiries.

Three sources close to ICE told Reuters earlier in January the Atlanta-based exchange operator would consider a sale of Euronext for the right price.

The NYSE unit includes the Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon stock exchanges.

On Monday, Sprecher appeared to disavow such a move, reiterating the company's plan to turn the Euronext into an independently governed entity.

The idea of separating the European stock-exchange unit from the merged ICE-NYSE business was put forward in order to help win approval for the deal from regulators, who have tripped up prior attempts at mega-mergers in the exchange world.   Continued...

Jeff Sprecher, chief executive officer of IntercontinentalExchange speaks during the Sandler O'Neill global exchange and brokerage conference in New York June 10, 2011. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson