Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE ) investors will have to wait longer to see their company absorb bourse operator NYSE Euronext (UNKNOWN: NYX.DL ) . The latter announced today that the two companies have postponed their impending merger from the previously announced Nov. 4 to "a later date."
Although that date wasn't specified, it will probably be in the very near future. NYSE Euronext said it and IntercontinentalExchange have agreed to the delay "to allow additional time for relevant European regulators and ministries to process and issue their approvals." The companies have received a letter from the Euronext College of Regulators -- an organization that includes each individual regulator of the Euronext markets -- indicating that it is not inclined to oppose the merger. However, the companies have chosen to wait for the remaining national regulatory approvals.
These are expected "in the coming days." Once they are received, the acquisition is expected to close within two business days.
Last December, IntercontinentalExchange launched a $33.12-per-share tender offer for NYSE Euronext, valuing the total transaction at approximately $8.2 billion. Although the anticipated date of the closing has shifted, the deadline for the latter's shareholders to accept the offer has not -- it remains 5 p.m. Eastern time tomorrow. Those investors have the option to sell their shares for cash, IntercontinentalExchange stock, or -- subject to certain limitations -- a combination of both.