ICE has ‘informed view’ of how to integrate NYSE, CEO says

IntercontinentalExchange Inc. is further along with its integration plan for NYSE Euronext than expected 10 months after announcing the $8.2 billion deal, according to Chief Executive Officer Jeff Sprecher.

“We have a very informed view of what businesses we’re going to put where” and who will run the various units of the combined company, Sprecher said today on an earnings conference call with analysts. He said the company expects to close the transaction “within days.”

The union creates one of the world’s largest bourse operators by giving Atlanta-based ICE new markets in interest-rate futures and the New York Stock Exchange. ICE on Oct. 30 postponed the closing date of the purchase to give European regulators more time to review the transaction. ICE had planned to close the acquisition on Nov. 4.

ICE said today that net income attributable to the company increased to $141.3 million, or $1.92 a share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30 from $131.1 million, or $1.79 a share, a year earlier. Excluding merger-related costs and other items, the company earned $1.97 a share, exceeding the average analyst estimate of $1.83 a share, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Asked if he would take over as the public face of the New York Stock Exchange after the acquisition is closed, Sprecher demurred.

“I don’t think I’d be very good at it,” he said. “I know my own limitations. It’s alluring as a manager” to consider the role, though “I’m glad Duncan Niederauer is staying in that role,” he said, referring to the current CEO of NYSE Euronext.

ICE shares rose 2.2% to $198.03 at 9:44 a.m. New York time, extending their year-to-date gain to 60%.

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