ICE hires banks to advise on flotation of NYSE's Euronext: sources
By Sophie Sassard and Anjuli Davies
LONDON (Reuters) - IntercontinentalExchange (ICE.N: Quote) (ICE) has hired three banks to advise on the listing of Euronext, whose sale is crucial to its $8.2 billion takeover of NYSE Euronext NYX.N, three sources familiar with the situation said.
ABN Amro and existing advisers on the ICE/NYSE deal, Societe Generale (SOGN.PA: Quote) and JP Morgan (JPM.N: Quote), will act as global coordinators on the flotation of the combined Paris, Lisbon, Brussels and Amsterdam exchanges, the sources said.
ICE decided to float Euronext when it sealed a deal with NYSE Euronext last year in order to fund the transaction, to ease regulatory approval in Europe and to keep the combined group's focus on U.S. operations, one of the people said. ICE will however keep NYSE's Liffe interest rate futures exchange.
The U.S.-based exchange operator is planning to float about 50 percent of Euronext in Paris in the second half of next year and will retain about 30 percent, one of the sources said.
While an initial public listing (IPO) remains the most likely route, Euronext may also combine part or all of its activities with European rivals such as Germany's Deutsche Borse (DB1Gn.DE: Quote) or the Russian (MOEX.MM: Quote), Polish GPW.WA or Austrian stock exchanges, two of the people said.
"ICE and NYSE will listen to propositions," said one source, who asked not to be named because the talks are private.
Another of the three sources said that the IPO could be "pre-empted with a good offer".
"They've had a few discussions with possible buyers so far," he said. Continued...