Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings (CME) has increased its merger offer for
CBOT Holdings Inc. to $11.5 billion, slightly above InterContinental Exchanges''s
(ICE) current offer of $11.4 billion.
Shareholders of CBOT Holdings would
receive 0.375 shares of CME Holdings common stock for each share of CBOT, up from
0.350 shares in the earlier agreement.
This would push CBOT shareholders''
stake in the combined company to about 36 per cent.
"This is our
best and final offer, and we will not change it," CME chief executive Craig
Donohue said on a conference call with analysts, ahead of a CBOT shareholder vote
early next week.
CME said Caledonia Investments, CBOT Holdings'' biggest
shareholder, which earlier had said the Merc''s bid was too low and planned to
vote against the merger, supported the new bid.
, which owns about 6.5 per cent of CBOT Holding, backee the offer, saying it would
encourage other shareholders to vote for the merger.
The new CME Group
would have a market share of more than 85 per cent of US futures
and options-on-futures trading, including almost 100 per cent in the interest
rate and stock index segments.
"We will be a force to be reckoned
with," said CME executive chairman Terry Duffy, said of the merger move.
US justice department has approved the merger plan.