UPDATE 2-Nasdaq to buy eSpeed platform for $750 mln

Mon Apr 1, 2013 9:35pm EDT
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* Total consideration for deal is up to $1.23 bln, including earnout to be paid over 15 years

* Deal expected to add to Nasdaq's earnings within 12 months after closing

* Moody's reviewing Nasdaq Baa3 bond rating for a possible downgrade

By John McCrank

April 1 (Reuters) - Nasdaq OMX Group Inc agreed to buy electronic Treasuries-trading platform eSpeed from BGC Partners Inc for $750 million in cash, providing the exchange operator an entry into one of the world's largest and most liquid cash markets.

The deal gives Nasdaq more exposure to fixed income markets, fitting into the company's strategy of expanding in asset classes beyond stock trading, where volumes have been depressed for years.

More than $500 billion in U.S. Treasuries change hands daily.

The acquisition helps to diversify Nasdaq's U.S. offerings, said Christopher Allen, an analyst at Evercore Partners.

"You always want some asset class diversification which Nasdaq really doesn't have in the U.S., where they just have cash, equity and equity options," he said.   Continued...