News is that the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (NASDAQ:CME) has delayed a final vote on its proposed merger with the CBOT, to allow the CBOE more time to evaluate ICE’s last-minute offer. CME President Craig Donohue expressed confidence that the CBOT will eventually side with the CME, but clearly, there was some pushback from the CBOT. It is taking that ICE bid seriously.
All the newspaper reports were full of stories about how CBOT members prefer the CME deal, and how a cross-Chicago merger would create a regional powerhouse, and how ICE’s limitations on clearing and other matters made its proposal weaker.
Ultimately, however, money talks, and ICE’s offer had a bigger initial upside. Things might ultimately break the CME’s way --- especially if they sweeten the pot --- but it’s by no means a done deal yet.