IntercontinentalExchange made another move to block the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s bid for the Chicago Board of Trade today, this time sending a letter to all CBOT shareholders calling the potential merger a “bargain basement sale.” Last week ICE filed a preliminary proxy statement with the SEC after CME upped its offer to $10.6bn, still $1.3bn short of ICE’s rival bid. CBOT shareholders are scheduled to vote on the deal July 9.
Although the CBOT board has said repeatedly that it favors the Merc offer, citing an easier integration of the two Chicago-based exchanges, the letter from ICE CEO Jeffery Sprecher extols the undisputed pecuniary superiority of his offer, saying,
The fact is that your Board has endorsed a deal with CME that undervalued the CBOT from the outset. And, since ICE’s first proposal, CME’s offer has never been financially superior. After saying repeatedly that it would not increase its offer, CME was forced to improve its proposal in reaction to the innovative value enhancements offered by ICE. Despite your Board’s best efforts to convince you otherwise, CME’s proposal remains 12.5% below the value of the ICE offer.