The Chicago Stock Exchange said a Chinese investor group agreed to acquire it, giving the buyer entry into the intensely competitive U.S. equity market.
Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the company, according to a statement Friday. The deal values the Chicago Stock Exchange at less than $100 million, according to a person familiar with the matter, who asked to not be identified because the terms weren’t disclosed publicly. The exchange expects the deal to close in the second half of the year, though that will require regulatory approval.
“We’re a good fit. Our strategy is something they like and is consistent with theirs,” Chicago Stock Exchange Chief Executive Officer John Kerin said in a phone interview. “We provide technology and we’re a standalone, full-service exchange that they can grow in a manner that suits their needs.”
Sales of stocks exchanges, which tend to be national symbols, have faced political objections in the past. When Germany’s Deutsche Boerse AG wanted to buy the owner of the New York Stock Exchange in 2011, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, a Democrat from New York, raised obstacles. Singapore’s stock exchange tried to buy Australia’s in 2010, but the Australian government barred that from happening.
That said, the Chicago Stock Exchange is a far less vital part of global finance. The New York Stock Exchange, for instance, handled 31 times more trading volume on Thursday.