UPDATE 1-CME Group will consider M&A if target emerges -CFO
By Ann Saphir
March 6 (Reuters) - CME Group Inc would be open to making a large acquisition should the right target emerge, a top executive said on Wednesday in the latest sign that the company may reverse its longstanding public indifference to mergers and acquisitions.
"We have all the right pieces in place we feel ... We don't feel compelled to go out and do any particular M&A deal," CME Chief Financial Officer James Parisi said. But, he added: "If a great opportunity were to arise where we can create shareholder value through some type of M&A opportunity, we will certainty take a look at it."
The comments keep alive speculation that CME is looking more seriously at potential acquisitions under Chief Executive Phupinder Gill, after years when his predecessor signaled he was uninterested in such deals.
Gill, who took the reins of the Chicago-based company in May, has sought to give the company a bigger international profile as it seeks new revenue from non-U.S. sources.
Although Gill, who was in Kuala Lumpur this week attending a palm oil conference, has not addressed the subject of M&A recently, CME Excutive Chairman Terrence Duffy last week said that whether the company would pursue a new acquisition is yet to be decided.
Company officials, including Gill, had previously said they see no new large acquisition opportunities in the immediate future.
Bloomberg reported last week that CME approached rival Deutsche Boerse AG in December and again in January about possible merger talks. [ID: L6N0BP9PM]
Deutsche Boerse said the companies were not in talks. While Parisi declined to comment directly on the report, his comments on Wednesday appeared calculated to keep the door to new acquisitions open.
Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange Inc, which competes with CME, late last year may have set off another round of consolidation of the industry when it agreed to buy NYSE Euronext for $8.2 billion.
CME has not done a large M&A deal since 2008, when it acquired the New York Mercantile Exchange. A year earlier it bought the Chicago Board of Trade.
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