NEW YORK and KANSAS CITY, Mo., Feb 16, 2010 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX News Network) -- The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ) and Agora-X, LLC today announced that NASDAQ OMX bought a majority interest in Agora-X, an electronic communications network for institutional trading in over-the-counter (OTC) commodity contracts. The transaction gives NASDAQ OMX an 85 percent equity interest in Agora-X, up from its previous 20 percent ownership, effective immediately. Financial terms were not disclosed.
"As the global leader in providing exchange technology and trading efficiencies, we believe that by expanding our partnership and investment in Agora-X, NASDAQ OMX can bring OTC commodity traders' market efficiencies, cost savings, transparency and liquidity, as we have brought these advantages to the equity markets for years. This investment is also a strategic expansion within our broader global commodities business," commented Hans-Ole Jochumsen, Executive Vice President, NASDAQ OMX Transaction Services Nordics.
"We are very excited with the expanded relationship between Agora-X and NASDAQ OMX. We've worked with NASDAQ OMX to create the technology for a best-in-class electronic marketplace, and now with their majority interest, it allows for us to take advantage of immense synergies and access to all of the NASDAQ OMX resources," said Brent M. Weisenborn, Chief Executive Officer of Agora-X. "The Agora-X platform makes a dramatic difference in price discovery by enabling traders to obtain best prices in a more open, liquid and transparent electronic marketplace. Displaying bids and offers for derivative contracts on Agora-X, rather than negotiating transactions through time-consuming phone calls or instant messages, saves traders time and money."
Agora-X enables institutional market participants to efficiently negotiate OTC transactions in commodity and derivative contracts, including through bilateral negotiation. As previously announced, Agora-X offers automatic clearing through CME ClearPort(R) on certain OTC derivatives along with an electronic audit trail on all transactions.
As a result of the investment, Agora-X will become a part of NASDAQ OMX Commodities business. Brent M. Weisenborn will report to Geir Reigstad, Head of NASDAQ OMX Commodities. The NASDAQ OMX Commodities business provides access to the world's largest power derivatives exchange and one of Europe's major carbon markets, together with Nord Pool ASA. FCStone Group, Inc., a commodity risk management firm, previously held the majority ownership position in Agora-X and will continue to hold a minority stake.
About NASDAQ OMX Group
The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. is the world's largest exchange company. It delivers trading, exchange technology and public company services across six continents, and with over 3,900 companies, it is number one in worldwide listings among major markets. NASDAQ OMX offers multiple capital raising solutions to companies around the globe, including its U.S. listings market; the OMX Nordic Exchange, including First North; and the 144A PORTAL Market. The company offers trading across multiple asset classes including equities, derivatives, debt, commodities, structured products and ETFs. NASDAQ OMX technology supports the operations of over 70 exchanges, clearing organizations and central securities depositories in more than 50 countries. OMX Nordic Exchange is not a legal entity but describes the common offering from NASDAQ OMX exchanges in Helsinki, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Iceland, Riga, and Vilnius. For more information about NASDAQ OMX, visit www.nasdaqomx.com
Agora-X, LLC has developed an electronic communications network for OTC contracts in collaboration with major institutional participants in the commodities market. Based in Kansas City, Agora-X was founded with seed money from FCStone Group, Inc. Agora-X has worked with NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:NDAQ) to create a best-in-class comprehensive OTC marketplace. In 2008, NASDAQ OMX became a development investor in Agora-X. For more information please visit www.agora-x.com.
NASDAQ OMX's Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
The matters described herein contain forward-looking statements that are made under the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include, but are not limited to, statements about NASDAQ OMX's products and offerings. We caution that these statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties or other factors beyond NASDAQ OMX's control. These factors include, but are not limited to factors detailed in NASDAQ OMX's annual report on Form 10-K, and periodic reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to release any revisions to any forward-looking statements.
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SOURCE: The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.; Agora-X, LLC
CONTACT: The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. Robert Madden 646-441-5045 Robert.Madden@NASDAQOMX.com Agora-X Richard M. Johnson 913-649-8885 email@example.com
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