Chicago's Board of Trade and the Mercantile Exchange—bitter rivals for decades—will merge to form the world's largest derivatives market in a deal worth close to $12 billion, the Chicago Tribune reports. The merger ends months of jockeying and speculation as another suitor, Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange, failed to mount a competitive bid.
The final tallies of a vote on the deal by Board of Trade shareholders won't be available for days but the arrangement is expected to be approved by an overwhelming majority. The mammoth new exchange will likely soon be looking to acquire even more exchanges, one analyst predicted. (Read more Chicago Board of Trade stories.)