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Exchanges: With Nymex, CME creates a global player

Sang Lee, Aite Group

"The combined entity is a very strong competitor in an increasingly consolidating global marketplace"
Sang Lee, Aite Group

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange has pushed through a contentious $7.7 billion acquisition of the New York Mercantile Exchange following months of negotiations. The CME was already the largest derivatives exchange in the world but the combined group, with pro forma 2007 annual revenue of $2.7 billion and average trading volume of approximately 14.2 million contracts a day in the first two quarters of 2008, will now control some 98% of trading in US futures and exchange-traded options. "As a united company we are well positioned for a new phase of growth, innovation and product development that will benefit our customers, shareholders and market users around the world," commented CME Group executive chairman Terry Duffy.

The deal was first announced in January but some Nymex members complained that it undervalued their company at a time when commodity markets were booming. However, after a series of negotiations, the CME managed to secure 80% (650 member votes) support for the deal – they needed at least 75% support to get it through.

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