* Company management's message to board - source
* Now a focus on how to respond to global mergers - source
* CBOE shares jump before handing back some gains
(Adds shares, background, CEO quote, byline)
By Jonathan Spicer
NEW YORK, Feb 23 The Chicago Board Options
Exchange's parent is now formally open to "strategic
transactions" such as a sale or merger with another exchange
operator, a person with direct knowledge of the company's
stance said on Wednesday.
At a Feb. 8 board meeting, CBOE Holdings Inc (CBOE.O)
management used a PowerPoint presentation to, in part, tell
directors that it would not be opposed to a transaction --
though no specific possibilities were outlined, said the
The source, who requested anonymity, added that the board
did not oppose the concept of a transaction.
The next day, on Feb. 9, two major exchange deals were
unveiled, including the takeover of Big Board parent NYSE
Euronext NYX.N by Germany's Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE) and
London Stock Exchange's (LSE.L) bid for Canada's TMX Group
In the last couple of weeks, the source said, many e-mailed
and verbal messages have been exchanged internally on how CBOE,
the No. 1 U.S. options market, will respond to the recent rash
of global merger plans. Any change to strategy is expected to
help drive the company's agenda in the weeks and months ahead,
the source said.
CBOE shares jumped 5.8 percent after the Reuters report.
They were up 2.4 percent at $26.60 later in afternoon trading.
A CBOE spokeswoman declined to comment.
The company went public last year and has since stressed
its focus on growing as a stand-alone operator. In an interview
on Wednesday, CBOE Chief Executive told Reuters that remaining
a "niche player" was not the only way for the company to
CBOE had 27 percent of the overall U.S. options market last
month, the most of the nine venues.
(Reporting by Jonathan Spicer, editing by Gerald E.