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Trading

CME Group acquires NEX Group for £3.9 billion

CME Group on Thursday announced it had acquired electronic foreign-exchange and fixed-income trading platform NEX Group for £3.9 billion ($5.4 billion).

The agreement was approved unanimously by the board of directors of both companies but still requires approval of NEX shareholders, according to a joint news release from the two firms.

Pending regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close in the second half of this year.

Michael Spencer, NEX CEO, will join the CME board and will remain with the combined company as a special adviser to help integrate NEX's business into CME, the release said.

Donald Robertson, senior vice president and analyst at Moody's Investors Service, said NEX "is a good strategic fit for CME."

The combination of CME's derivatives exchange and clearing activities with NEX's spot fixed-income and FX electronic trading platforms "would diversify CME's income into adjacent markets, and would provide clear opportunities for realizing extensive cost synergies," Mr. Robertson said, while NEX's derivatives markets capabilities "would closely align with CME's extensive activities in the derivatives markets."

J.P. Morgan was financial adviser to CME Group on the deal, and Evercore and Citi were financial advisers to NEX.