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Chicago Merc Now Loves Chicago Board of Trade 16% More

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The Chicago Mercantile Exchange “sweetened” its bid for the Chicago Board of Trade this morning.* The new offer would exchange each CBOT share for a 0.35 share of the CME, which adds up to a 16% increase from the original merger agreement. The CME is also promising a buyback of its own shares after the deal is done, lessening the dilutive effect of the acquisition on those shares. The new offer puts a value on the Board of Trade at somewhere around $9.2 billion.
This pushes the ball into Intercontinental Exchange Inc, which made a $10.1 billion in March. The Board of Trade rejected the offer as “not superior” to the offer already on the table. Not surprisingly, the new offer from the Merc makes the offer from ICE even more “not superior” than it was before in the view of Board of Trade directors. Everyone now wonders whether ICE can come back with an even better offer.
*Everyone keeps saying the bid was "sweetened." We assume that this is very funny if you trade commodities or something. Is it a maple syrup futures joke? We don't get it. When News Corp offers more for the Dow will that also be "sweeter" or just more money?

Chicago Merc Press Release
CME Raises Bid for CBOT To Fend Off Rival Offer [Wall Street Journal]
Chicago Merc Agrees to Pay More for Board of Trade [Bloomberg]