NEW YORK, Dec 20 (Reuters) - IntercontinentalExchange Inc on Thursday said it would buy New York Stock Exchange owner NYSE Euronext for $8.2 billion. Atlanta-based ICE operates four regulated futures exchanges, two over-the-counter markets and five clearing houses globally. Its growth from an small energy exchange since the early 2000s has been influential in the evolution of the derivatives markets since then, paralleling the rise of commodities as a mainstream asset class, the consolidation of the exchange industry, the disappearance of the floor trader with the move to all-electronic trading platforms and the growth of swaps clearing. The following is a timeline of key events in ICE's history: 2000 IntercontinentalExchange founded. Seven leading banks and energy concerns launch an online electronic market for trading over-the-counter energy, metals and other commodities. Jeffrey Sprecher, previously president of Atlanta's Continental Power Exchange, the company that developed the trading system to be used by ICE, becomes CEO. 2001 ICE acquires London-based International Petroleum Exchange. 2002 ICE launches industry's first cleared over-the-counter energy contracts. 2005 ICE goes public; begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange. It also transitions to electronic energy futures trade. 2006 ICE launches a West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude contract, competing with CME Group's light sweet crude contract and its benchmark WTI. 2007 ICE completes the acquisition of New York Board of Trade, to be renamed ICE Futures U.S. It makes an unsuccessful unsolicited offer for CBOT Holdings Inc, eventually losing out to Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings Inc. CEO Sprecher says ICE is open to buying out a rival or being bought out. "You're in a consolidating industry," Sprecher tells Reuters. 2008 In February, ICE ends open outcry on all futures contracts formerly traded at NYBOT. In June, it announces acquisition of credit default swaps (CDS) processor Creditex, and launches CDS swaps clearing in the U.S. and Europe. 2009 ICE acquires the Clearing Corporation. 2010 ICE acquires the Climate Exchange. 2012 In October, ICE closes option pits in New York, silencing 142 years of open outcry. In December, ICE announces an $8.2 billion deal to acquire NSYE Euronext.