ICE completes takeover of NYSE

An exterior shot of the New York Stock Exchange in New York December 20, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

NEW YORK (Reuters) - IntercontinentalExchange Inc's ICE.N takeover of NYSE Euronext NYX.N is complete and stock of the combined company will begin trading under the symbol ICE on Wednesday, said the head of ICE, an exchange and clearing house operator.

The deal, which was worth $10.9 billion as of November 1, gives ICE control of Liffe, Europe’s No. 2 derivatives market, as well as the New York Stock Exchange, which has been at the center of American capitalism since it was started in 1792.

ICE will announce within days which parts of NYSE it plans to keep, and which parts it plans to divest, ICE Chief Executive Jeff Sprecher said in an interview on Tuesday. ICE said when it announced the deal in December 2012 that it expected to cut the majority of $450 million of expenses from the combined company by the second full year after the deal closes.

Sprecher has been vocal in his criticism of the way the U.S. equity markets function, saying problems brought on by rapid advances of technology, fragmentation and regulation need to be addressed and that the NYSE is the perfect place to shake things up.

“The market needs to embrace change, but somebody’s got to stand up and take a leadership role and hopefully others will line up behind us and help support a vision,” he said.

Sprecher, who has a history of eliminating the trading floors of the exchanges his company has bought, has vowed to keep open the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

NYSE’s website says the company has 2,993 employees, while ICE had 1,121 employees as of September 30, according to a recent regulatory filing.

ICE also plans to spin off Euronext, which includes the Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon stock exchanges, in an IPO likely some time next year.

Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Steve Orlofsky