Southern parvenu seizes control of New York Stock Exchange

Commodities trading platform IntercontinentalExchange (NYSE:ICE) will obtain control of the New York Stock Exchange, the most venerable and enduring icon of American capitalism, after clinching a $8.2 billion deal with parent company NYSE Euronext

(NYSE:NYX) on Thursday.

The New York Times
reports that NYSE Euronext has announced that it will sell itself to Atlanta-based ICE at a price of $33.12 per share in exchange for payment in both cash and stock – 0.1703 shares of ICE plus $11.27 for each unit of equity in NYSE Euronext.

The acquisition could signal the beginning of a fresh consolidation trend amongst international stock exchanges, after the thwarting of previous attempts by anti-trust concerns and patriotic rumblings.

The Justice Department scuppered ICE's $11 billion hostile bid for the New York Stock Exchange, launched in 2011 in conjunction with the main board's chief rival Nasdaq OMX Group, while European regulators also blocked a proposed merger between NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Borse on antitrust grounds.

NBC reports that the deal, which sees an upstart derivatives exchange acquire a conventional cash equities operation, is significant of the declining value of the older institution which has recently found itself lagging behind more tech-savvy newcomers.

ICE's markedly higher valuation – the company's current market cap stands at $9.3 billion compared to NYSE's $5.8 billion, is also a sign of major changes in the finance industry, with the growth in financial instruments enabling a young derivatives enterprise to outgrow an exchange company which has been over two centuries in the making.