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Jan. 28, 2015, 6:54 AM
- It's BGC Partners' (NASDAQ:BGCP) serve and the company doesn't disappoint, responding to Michael Gooch's open letter to shareholders with one of its own.
- "In a final desperate attempt to protect their conflicted and self-interested transaction, GFI (NYSE:GFIG) management is asking you to accept $5.85 per share in cash and stock, which is $0.25 less than BGC's $6.10 all-cash offer."
- "Time is short," says BGC chief Howard Lutnick, urging GFI shareholders to vote against the merger with CME Group. The special meeting - originally set for yesterday - is due to take place on Friday.
- Previously: Head of GFI Group writes open letter urging acceptance of CME bid (Jan. 27)
Jan. 27, 2015, 1:23 PM
- Writing in his capacity as the controlling stockholder of Jersey Partners, a 36%+ owner of GFI Group (GFIG -2.6%), GFI Group founder and Executive Chairman Michael Gooch tells fellow owners they can opt for a "bird in the hand" - the CME/GFI offer - or hold out for "BGC in the bush."
- Full letter is here
- He notes the GFI management group will only be paid $4.44 for each of their shares sold through Jersey Partners (the CME/GFI offer is for $5.85 in stock and cash).
- BGC Partners' (BGCP -0.7%) $6.10 per share cash offer "remains highly conditional," says Gooch, and - even if BGC reaches the 45% tender threshold - there's no guarantee GFI owners will get $6.10 for their shares.
Jan. 27, 2015, 7:35 AM
- Looking to get a piece of ICE's dominance in cocoa trading, CME Group's (NASDAQ:CME) European operation will launch a physically settled, euro-denominated cocoa futures contract on March 30, just days before competitor ICE introduces a similar contract. CME is also launching a cash-settled dollar-denominated contract.
- ICE currently operates two cocoa futures contracts - one denominated in sterling, one in dollars.
Jan. 22, 2015, 3:14 PM
- Glass Lewis joins ISS in recommending GFI Group (GFIG +1.8%) owners vote against the proposed buyout by CME Group (CME +3.6%) and GFI management.
- "It seems readily apparent the GFI board's flawed and conflicted process failed to extract any significant semblance of maximum value or a favorable price, and further failed to fully incorporate those bidders willing to offer decidedly greater value to GFI investors."
- BGC Partners' (BGCP +3.1%) cash offer remains at $6.10 per share vs. CME/GFI's price of $5.85 in stock and cash.
- Previously: ISS recommends vote against CME/GFI Group merger (Jan. 21)
Jan. 21, 2015, 10:50 AM
- Proxy advisory firm Institutional Shareholder Services recommends GFI Group (GFIG +1.8%) shareholders vote against the "economically inferior" offer by CME Group and GFI management of $5.85 in cash and stock. BGC Partners (BGCP +1%) has an offer on the table for $6.10 in cash.
- More from ISS: "It is not at all clear that unaffiliated shareholders incur any greater downside risk in holding out for the economically superior offer from this ongoing bidding war." If owners vote against the CME deal and nothing improves, says ISS, they can always tender their shares to BGC for $6.10.
- The special meeting is set for Jan. 27.
- Previously: BGC Partners boosts GFI Group bid once more (Jan. 20)
Jan. 20, 2015, 12:14 PM
- BGC Partners (BGCP -2.4%) lifts its price for GFI Group (GFIG +5.7%) to $6.10 per share in cash, and extends the expiration date to February 3.
- The price is about 4% higher than the latest cash and stock deal offered by CME Group and GFI management.
- Should GFI accept the deal by midnight tonight, BGC will add another $0.10 per share to its offer.
- GFI is currently trading at $5.91.
Jan. 20, 2015, 8:45 AM
- Responding to BGC Partners' (NASDAQ:BGCP) increase last Thursday, CME Group matches at least on price - $5.85 per share. BGC's bid remains all-cash, while CME's remains a mix of stock and cash.
- Alongside, the GFI management group agrees to forego roughly $40M which would have been payable to it as part of the deal.
- GFIG +3.6% premarket to $5.80.
- Previously: Game on. BGC Partners boosts offer for GFI Group (Jan. 15)
Jan. 15, 2015, 2:35 PM
- BGC Partners' (BGCP -1.9%) new all-cash offer of $5.85 per share is contingent on GFI Group's (GFIG +2.8%) acceptance.
- In addition, BGC makes a non-contingent increase in its all-cash tender offer to $5.75 per share and extends the date of the tender to the close of business on January 29. GFI owners are meeting on Jan. 27 to vote on CME Group's bid, which earlier today - with an assist from GFI Group management - was boosted to $5.60 in cash and stock.
- As of the close yesterday, about 14M shares had been tendered pursuant to BGC Partners' offer. Combined with 17.1M shares of GFIG already owned by BGC, it represents abut 24.4% of GFIG's outstanding shares.
- Previously: CME and GFI management team up to boost buyout price (Jan. 15)
Jan. 15, 2015, 8:54 AM
- Facing an ever-increasing challenge from BGC Partners (NASDAQ:BGCP) to win GFI Group (NYSE:GFIG), CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) and GFI management get together to boost their price to $5.60 per share in stock and cash.
- BGC's latest offer is $5.60 per share in cash.
- GFIG +2.4% premarket to $5.58.
- Previously: BGC Partners ups price for GFI Group (Jan. 13)
Jan. 14, 2015, 11:46 AM
- Trading in brent crude futures hit a record 206K contracts on Tuesday, beating the previous record of 192K set just a few sessions earlier. Average daily volume this month of 152K compares to only about 50K during the same period one year ago.
- Those are nice numbers, but just a speck compared to overall CME volume which averaged 13.6M daily in December, with interest rate futures averaging 6.6M.
Jan. 13, 2015, 4:07 PM
Jan. 9, 2015, 9:30 AM
- "Despite the clear superiority of our offer, we have faced continued obstacles and delaying tactics, which we believe are the result of actions taken by [GFI Group leaders] Michael Gooch and Colin Heffron, who have a conflicting personal commitment to the joint CME/management bid for GFIG and are actively sabotaging the transaction with BGC," says BGCP President Shaun Lynn in a letter to the GFI Group board.
- The GFI Group vote on the CME bid is set for Jan. 27, and the proposal needs two-thirds of the vote to win. With BGC controlling about 30% of the votes at this time, the CME bid could easily fail.
- As the FT notes, this doesn't mean victory for BGC. Instead, it sets things up for any number of permutations, perhaps even CME and BGC partnering to break up the company.
Jan. 9, 2015, 6:41 AM
- Following a record-breaking year of trading volumes, CME Group (NASDAQ:CME) is raising transaction and clearing fees in markets ranging from interest rates to energy and agricultural products, increasing costs for traders for the second time in 13 months.
- The increases, which take effect on Feb. 1, appear to target traders who do not own memberships at CME's exchanges.
Jan. 7, 2015, 8:08 AM
- BGCP's expiration date for the tender offer to buy any GFI Group (NYSE:GFIG) shares for $5.45 in cash is extended until Jan. 27 - the date of GFI's special shareholder meeting at which owners will vote on acceptance of CME Group's $5.25 cash and stock offer.
- As of the close of business yesterday, BGC Partners was an owner of about 30.5% of GFI's shares.
- Previously: CME/GFI Group receive regulatory approval for deal (Jan. 5)
Jan. 6, 2015, 7:53 AM
- In a bid to be the gold benchmark in Asia, CME Group's gold kilo futures contract will begin trading in Hong Kong on Jan. 26.
- Exchanges in Singapore and China also recently launched gold contracts in their bid to be the benchmark, but volume thus far are pretty lame. CME's U.S. Comex contract, of course, is the global benchmark.
- CME has been working on the launch for about a year, and said a few months ago not to expect anything before the end of 2014.
Jan. 5, 2015, 12:52 PM
- The sale of GFI Group (GFIG -0.6%) to CME Group (CME +0.8%) for $5.25 per share in cash and stock still requires approval of GFI owners, of which BCG Partners (BGCP -1.5%) is a sizable one.
- BGC has offered $5.45 per share in cash.
- GFI's special shareholder meeting is set for January 27.
- Previously: GFI bidding war heats up (Dec. 18, 2014)
CME Group Inc, through its futures exchanges & clearing houses, serves the risk management & investment needs of customers. It offers products like futures & options, foreign exchange, energy, agricultural commodities, weather derivatives & real estate.
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