Climate Exchange shares jump 17 percent

LONDON Tue Jun 23, 2009 1:43pm EDT

LONDON (Reuters) - Shares in carbon emissions exchange operator Climate Exchange plc jumped nearly 17 percent on Tuesday after IntercontinentalExchange said it had taken a 4.8 percent stake in the company on Monday.

The shares, trading on the London Stock Exchange, closed up 107 pence or 16.6 percent at 751 pence.

Climate Exchange operates the London-based European Climate Exchange (ECX), the world's largest marketplace for greenhouse gas permits, as well as emissions exchanges in the United States, Canada, India and China.

Emissions trading allows governments to cap the climate-warming carbon dioxide spewed by heavy industry. Emissions permits are given or auctioned to companies, which can then trade them over exchanges like the ECX.

ICE, partners with Climate Exchange, provides the trading platform for the ECX. "ICE could well afford CLIE in debt terms -- they have strong cashflow and less than one times EBITDA net debt at last quarter," said Ken Rumph, an analyst at Noble Group

He added that other exchange operators like CME Group or NYSE/Euronext might also be interested in acquiring Climate Exchange.

A spokesman for Climate Exchange would not comment on the purchase while ICE representatives were not reachable by phone.

(Reporting by Michael Szabo; Editing by Hans Peters)