IntercontinentalExchange Inc., also known as ICE has asked the European Union to review plans of the company to buy NYSE Euronext so that it can avoid probes in 3 countries. The request was made on 18th March and it intends to ask for EU approval formally, as far as the company’s regulatory filing made on today. Incidentally, the UK, Portugal and Spain Office of Fair Trading and competition authorities have 15 working days to object to the European Union taking any jurisdiction on the deal after the request of ICE is received by the European Commission.
According to the filing made by ICE, if none of the national competition authorities make any objection to the request, the European Commission will be accepting the jurisdiction to review the mergers. ICE has been in operation for 12 years and is known as an energy and commodity futures bourse. On 21st December, the company agreed to acquire NYSE Euronext for a price of $8.2 billion, which will be in form of both cash and stock.
Incidentally, on last year, the NYSE purchase process of Deutsche Boerse AG was blocked by the EU regulators as they cited concern over the competition in both clearing and derivatives. Incidentally, in last January, ICE stated that it is mandatory for the company to file for an approval in all of these 3 countries – Portugal, UK and Spain.
On last year, UK completion authority successfully blocked the EU from taking over the review process of London Stock Exchange Group’s bid to takeover LCH Clearnet Group Ltd. According to the Exchange Analyst of RBC Capital Markets, Peter Lenardos, if the UK authorities feel that a review is required, they will anyway find its reason.
According to Press Officer of the OFT, Elliott Ball, if a company makes more than 70 million Pounds in UK or have a UK market greater than 25%, it is usually subject to a UK review. However, Elliott declined to comment on whether the regulation is going to object to an EU review.
Watson, Farley & Williams LLP’s lawyer, Emanuela Lecchi stated that companies generally don’t ask the European Union for taking on a deal unless they are pretty sure that authorities will not be objecting to commission’s jurisdiction. Neither spokesperson of ICE, nor of NYSE Euronext agreed to comment on this matter.