July 12, 2007 / 5:59 PM / 11 years ago

CBOT shares cease trading at Thursday close

CHICAGO (Reuters) - CBOT Holdings Inc BOT.N, whose shareholders voted on Monday to merge with Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings Inc. CME.N, said its shares would be delisted at the close of trading on Thursday.

The announcement came after the results of Monday’s vote were certified and mark the end — in name at least — of the 159-year-old Chicago Board of Trade, the world’s oldest futures exchange.

Long-time CBOT traders felt nostalgic on Thursday, but will be back on Friday trading under the exchange’s new name, the CME Group. Their pain was also eased by the $12 billion price tag that CME agreed to pay after winning a bidding war against energy bourse IntercontinentalExchange Inc (ICE.N).

The unsolicited bid of the upstart Atlanta-based ICE in March was finally squelched last Friday after CME improved its bid for a third time since the original terms were announced in October — and agreed to pay about 25 percent more than its original bid for its one-time bitter cross-town rival.

“It was an emotional board meeting yesterday. There were a lot of mixed feelings ... a lot of emotion,” a CBOT board member said.

The union between the two largest U.S. futures exchanges will create the world’s largest derivatives mart, known as CME Group Inc, controlling more than 85 percent of exchange-traded futures and options-on-futures volume in the United States.

“The CBOT has a very long and proud tradition and the Merc has always admired that tradition,” said Leo Melamed, CME chairman emeritus and a founding father of booming “financial” futures markets on stocks, interest rates and currencies.

“While there’s a certain amount of nostalgia,” Melamed told Reuters, the two exchanges have acted like partners for the last few years through business ventures like common clearing of trades and will “be so much stronger together.”

Talk in the CBOT’s trading pits circulated on Thursday that the CBOT management team could be leaving their jobs as soon as Friday, including Bernard Dan, chief executive officer.

CME will maintain its corporate offices in its leased space in a skyscraper on Wacker Drive. But the CME Group will house all its open-outcry trading just a few blocks away at the CBOT’s multi-building complex at the southern end of LaSalle Street, Chicago’s financial center.

The anchor will remain CBOT’s landmark 1930 Holabird & Root building with its statue of the Roman goddess of grain, Ceres, forty stories above the street. The structure has been the symbolic center for world grain trading for decades.

The electronic home of CBOT’s derivatives trading will become Globex, CME’s successful trading platform.

CBOT shares closed 50 cents lower at $227.50 on the New York Stock Exchange and CME shares closed $7.75 up at $587.80.

Additional reporting by Ros Krasny, Sam Nelson, Julie Ingwersen

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