General Atlantic trades in Nymex stake for CME shares

Upon the merger of Nymex Holdings and CME Group at the end of this week, the Greenwich, Connecticut-based private equity firm will hold 1.3 percent of CME; General Atlantic also holds stakes in NYSE Euronext, BM&F Bovespa and the National Stock Exchange of India.

The acquisition of General Atlantic-backed Nymex Holdings by CME Group has gained shareholder approval and is on scheduled to close on 22 August.

Shareholders of physical commodity futures exchange Nymex will receive $36 (€24.60) and 0.1323 CME shares for each Nymex share.

Greenwich, Connecticut-based General Atlantic acquired a 10 percent stake in Nymex for $135 million in 2005. Nymex went public on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in November 2006.

Nymex reportedly attracted bids from Parthenon Capital and a team consisting of The Blackstone Group and Battery Ventures, as well as a late offer coming from former Nymex chairman Michel Marks, reportedly backed by Hellman & Friedman. As previously reported on PEO, the bidding ultimately came down to General Atlantic and the Blackstone/Battery partnership.

Following the merger of CME and Nymex, General Atlantic will own 1.3 percent of CME which was formed in 2007 through the merger of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade.

The firm also counts NYSE Euronext, Brazil’s equities, futures and commodities exchange BM&F Bovespa and the National Stock Exchange of India among its portfolio companies.

General Atlantic chief executive William Ford sits on the board of NYSE Euronext and managing director Rene Kern sits on the board of BM&F Bovespa.

General Atlantic has approximately $17 billion in capital under management. The firm makes eight to 12 investments per year ranging from $50 million to $500 million in equity for growth, expansions, buy-outs, consolidations and build-ups.