Kraft moves blue chip listing to Nasdaq

Fri Jun 8, 2012 7:24pm EDT

(Reuters) - Kraft Foods Inc KFT.N is moving its stock listing to the Nasdaq from NYSE Euronext's NYX.N New York Stock Exchange, handing Nasdaq OMX Group Inc (NDAQ.O) its biggest victory yet in its listings war with the Big Board.

The move comes just three weeks after technical glitches on Nasdaq's exchange marred Facebook Inc's (FB.O) highly anticipated market debut, causing tens of millions in losses for market makers, which facilitate trades for brokers.

The listings switch will save Kraft money and give its brands better visibility through Nasdaq's marketing initiatives, the snack-maker's spokesman, John Simley said on Friday. He did not give any financial details.

Nasdaq and the NYSE have competed aggressively for listings over the past several years.

Kraft, whose products include Oreo cookies, Cadbury chocolate and Maxwell House coffee, has a market capitalization of around $68 billion and is the biggest company to switch exchanges ever, said Nasdaq spokesman Joseph Christinat.

Other recent listings wins for Nasdaq include Texas Instruments Inc (TXN.O), Western Digital Corp (WDC.O) and Analog Devices Inc (ADI.O).

Recent switches to NYSE from Nasdaq include TD Ameritrade Holding Corp (AMTD.N) and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd (TEVA.N).

Following the Facebook IPO, as questions over Nasdaq's handling of the offering grew and irate investors who questioned the pricing of the stock filed lawsuits, there were reports - all denied by NYSE - that the Big Board was trying to lure the newly public social networking giant to move to its exchange.

Kraft shares will begin trading on the Nasdaq on June 26 under its current symbol, KFT. The company plans to split later this year into two companies, both of which will trade on Nasdaq.

Mondelez International, which will include the snack business, will trade under the symbol MDLZ, while Kraft Foods Group Inc trades as KRFT. The symbol KFT will be retired.

Kraft shares ended up 0.2 percent at $38.24 on Friday. Nasdaq rose a penny to $22.12, while NYSE dropped 0.7 percent to $24.60.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller, Phil Wahba and John McCrank in New York; editing by John Wallace, Jeffrey Benkoe and Andre Grenon)