CME Group Inc.
) is not considering to the drop-out of the fifth-largest global
interdealer broker - GFI Group Inc. (
) deal as an option. Consequently, the company matched the
inter-dealer broker - BGC Partner Inc.'s (
) competing its offer of $5.60 a share in cash and stock for GFI
Group earlier this week.
However, BGC Partners once again raised the bar higher by
offering a price of $5.85 per share in cash based on a contingent
agreement that expires on Jan 19. With 127.5 million outstanding
shares, this would amount to about $746 million, way higher than
about $580 million initially quoted by CME Group, which was further
raised to about $669 million in December.
Furthermore, if GFI Group is unable to decide before Monday's
deadline, a 'non-contingent' offer price of $5.75 per share will
stand til Jan 29. This is still about 9.7% higher than the last
offer of $5.60 a share.
This is the second time CME Group has hiked its bidding price
since it agreed to acquire GFI Group in Jul 2014. The counter
offers from BGC Partners, which already has a 13% stake in GFI
Group, had compelled CME Group to raise its initial offer price of
$4.55 per share to $5.25 in Dec 2014.
CME Group had agreed to acquire GFI Group's European energy
(Trayport) and global foreign exchange software (FENICS)
businesses. To make the offer more lucrative, the acquirer revised
the terms of the deal in Dec 2014 by assuming a debt of $240
million and liabilities of $77 million (up from $72 million), along
with other revenue-sharing treaties.
Additionally, following the acquisition, CME Group will now sell
the former's wholesale brokerage and clearing business to a private
consortium (formed by the GFI Group management) for about $282
million, up from the previously decided $254 million that was
raised from $165 million.
Nevertheless, GFI Group appears to be gaining from the war of
two bidders. Subsequently, shares of GFI Group closed 2.75% higher
at $5.60 a share on Thursday. The latest price of $5.60 per share
also represents an 80% premium over GFI Group's closing price of
$3.11 on Jul 29, 2014, when the deal was inked with CME Group.
While shareholders of GFI Group have to decide about CME Group's
offer by Jan 27, the counter offers and continued bidding have put
additional pressure on the acquirer. However, it also showcases CME
Group's incessant efforts to have this deal materialize and
capitalize on the long-term expansion and growth strategies that it
promises to offer. Currently, we remain on the periphery to analyze
future developments in this space.
Currently, CME Group carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Another
similar-ranked close peer, CBOE Holdings Inc. (
), may also attract the investors interested in this sector.
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