NASDAQ OMX Group announces majority ownership in Agora-X

NASDAQ OMX Group announces majority ownership in Agora-X

16/02/10

The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ) and Agora-X, LLC today announced that NASDAQ OMX bought a majority interest in Agora-X, an electronic communications network for institutional trading in over-the-counter (OTC) commodity contracts. The transaction gives NASDAQ OMX an 85 percent equity interest in Agora-X, up from its previous 20 percent ownership, effective immediately. Financial terms were not disclosed.

"As the global leader in providing exchange technology and trading efficiencies, we believe that by expanding our partnership and investment in Agora-X, NASDAQ OMX can bring OTC commodity traders' market efficiencies, cost savings, transparency and liquidity, as we have brought these advantages to the equity markets for years. This investment is also a strategic expansion within our broader global commodities business," commented Hans-Ole Jochumsen, Executive Vice President, NASDAQ OMX Transaction Services Nordics.

"We are very excited with the expanded relationship between Agora-X and NASDAQ OMX. We've worked with NASDAQ OMX to create the technology for a best-in-class electronic marketplace, and now with their majority interest, it allows for us to take advantage of immense synergies and access to all of the NASDAQ OMX resources," said Brent M. Weisenborn, Chief Executive Officer of Agora-X. "The Agora-X platform makes a dramatic difference in price discovery by enabling traders to obtain best prices in a more open, liquid and transparent electronic marketplace. Displaying bids and offers for derivative contracts on Agora-X, rather than negotiating transactions through time-consuming phone calls or instant messages, saves traders time and money."

Agora-X enables institutional market participants to efficiently negotiate OTC transactions in commodity and derivative contracts, including through bilateral negotiation. As previously announced, Agora-X offers automatic clearing through CME ClearPort(R) on certain OTC derivatives along with an electronic audit trail on all transactions.

As a result of the investment, Agora-X will become a part of NASDAQ OMX Commodities business. Brent M. Weisenborn will report to Geir Reigstad, Head of NASDAQ OMX Commodities. The NASDAQ OMX Commodities business provides access to the world's largest power derivatives exchange and one of Europe's major carbon markets, together with Nord Pool ASA. FCStone Group, Inc., a commodity risk management firm, previously held the majority ownership position in Agora-X and will continue to hold a minority stake.