CME Is Said to Near Accord on $5.7 Billion Takeover of NEX

(Bloomberg) -- Futures trading giant CME Group Inc. is in advanced talks with Michael Spencer’s NEX Group Plc about a 4 billion pound ($5.7 billion) takeover offer, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

An agreement could be reached in the coming days, the people said, declining to be identified as the negotiations are confidential. The talks may yet fall apart, or other suitors may emerge, they said. Shares of NEX jumped to their highest on record.

Representatives for CME and London-based NEX, formerly known as ICAP, declined to comment. The companies this month confirmed a Bloomberg report that they were in early-stage talks.

CME Is Said to Near Accord on $5.7 Billion Takeover of NEX

Acquiring NEX, which runs markets for trading currencies and Treasuries, would complement the Chicago-based company’s operations as CME offers derivatives on many of the same things. CME Chief Executive Officer Terry Duffy has built a powerhouse in part through takeovers, including deals for the Chicago Board of Trade and New York Mercantile Exchange. The stock gained 0.1 percent to $159.19 in New York on Wednesday.

Shares of NEX have advanced more than 50 percent since Bloomberg broke the news of the talks on March 15, boosting its market value to about 3.45 billion pounds and cementing Spencer’s position as a billionaire. The stock jumped as high as 960 pence before trading up 6.4 percent to 942.50 pence as of 2:40 p.m. London time on Wednesday.

The company’s roots date back more than 30 years to a brokerage called Intercapital, founded by Spencer. That firm eventually grew to become the world’s biggest broker of deals between banks. The former Conservative Party treasurer sold a part of his company in 2016 to Tullett Prebon for $1.6 billion, leaving NEX focused on electronic trading and post-trade services.

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