NYSE Euronext announces plans to sell significant equity stake in NYSE Amex Options Market

NYSE Euronext Announces Plans To Sell Significant Equity Stake In NYSE Amex Options Market To Leading Liquidity Providers And Market Making Firms - NYSE Euronext To Remain The Largest Shareholder Of NYSE Amex Options - Anticipated To Make NYSE Amex Options A Leading Venue


NYSE Euronext (NYX) today announced it has agreed in principle on a framework with leading liquidity providers and market making firms --BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays Capital, Citadel Securities, Citi, Goldman Sachs, TD AMERITRADE and UBS -- to sell a significant equity interest in NYSE Amex options, one of the company's two U.S. options exchanges. NYSE Euronext will remain the largest shareholder in the entity, which aims to enhance the competitive position of NYSE Amex options, while bringing competitive and operational benefits to the marketplace.

The contemplated transaction would call for NYSE Euronext to continue to manage the day-to-day operations of NYSE Amex options, which would operate under the supervision of a separate board of directors and a dedicated chief executive officer. The contemplated transaction is subject to the negotiation and execution of final legal documentation and obtaining the requisite regulatory approvals. NYSE Euronext anticipates that the transaction could be completed by the end of 2009.

"This partnership will further align our business interests with those of our customers, and makes NYSE Amex options an even more compelling trading venue within an increasingly competitive marketplace," said Duncan L. Niederauer, Chief Executive Officer, NYSE Euronext. "We welcome this shared commitment to deliver the highest levels of innovation and market quality to our options trading platform."

Edward Boyle, Senior Vice President, U.S. Options for NYSE Euronext, added: "Market participants will benefit from tighter spreads, deeper liquidity, superior technology, and the distinct market model of NYSE Amex options. We plan to continue to enhance technology and quoting speed, building upon existing service offerings, and introducing new products and order types to generate future order flow."

The contemplated transaction is expected to enable NYSE Amex options to offer customers deep liquidity delivered by many of the world's leading market makers on an exceptional technology platform. NYSE Amex options also anticipates making other services available, including the facilitation of open-outcry orders.