NEW YORK » The Chicago Stock Exchange, founded more than a century ago, said it has agreed to be acquired by a Chinese-led investor group.
The buyers are considering opening a stock exchange in southwest China and also hope to list Chinese stocks in the U.S., Chicago Stock Exchange CEO John Kerin said in an interview today. The exchange needs the cash from the buyout to launch its new trading products and platforms, Kerin said.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Kerin will continue as CEO after the deal closes.
Leading the investor group is Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group, a holding company based in Chongqing, China. Efforts to reach Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group were unsuccessful.
Kerin said the other investors are mostly based in China but their names are not being made public.
The Chicago Stock Exchange was founded in 1882, about 90 years after the New York Stock Exchange. It trades 8,300 stocks and exchange-traded funds that are also traded on other exchanges, such as the NYSE.
Companies don’t exclusively list stocks on the Chicago Stock Exchange as they do on the NYSE, Kerin said. But after the buyout is complete, the Chicago Stock Exchange has plans to allow small companies that don’t meet NYSE requirements to list stocks on the exchange.
The exchange has been also working on an on-demand auction product that is expected to be released in the spring.
The buyers said they plan to keep the Chicago Stock Exchange’s business operations and trading platform in place. The exchange said the deal is expected to close in the second half of the year and needs to be approved by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
If the deal is approved, it may be the first time a U.S. stock exchange is owned by Chinese companies. The World Federation of Exchanges said none of its U.S. members, which include the owners of the NYSE, Chicago Mercantile Exchange and others, have ever been owned by Chinese interests.
The Chicago Stock Exchange is not a member of the World Federation of Exchanges.