NASDAQ OMX (NDAQ) Held Talks to Go Private - FBN

February 11, 2013 12:11 PM EST
Shares of NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: NDAQ) spiked higher intra-day Monday following reports from Fox Business Network's Charlie Gasparino that the company held discussions with The Carlyle Group (NYSE: CG) to go private as competitive fears loom from the recent ICE/NYSE deal. Talks between NASDAQ and Carlyle have since broke down.

"Nasdaq OMX Group, Inc. recently held discussions with private equity firm Carlyle Group about taking the stock exchange private, just months after its main rival, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: NYX), agreed to be purchased by the Atlanta-based Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE)," Gasparino reported. "Nasdaq held these discussions about three weeks ago, according to two people with direct knowledge of the deal. One person with knowledge of the deal says the Nasdaq isn't 'currently in discussions with any private equity firm' though this person said that could change."

Gasparino said it is unclear which side initiated the talks, but people say the heightened competition caused Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld to discuss with officials from Carlyle a possible deal to take Nasdaq private.

One of the key players in the negotiations was Carlyle chief financial officer Adena Friedman, who left Nasdaq in 2011 as its CFO and head of corporate strategy, according to the report.

A Nasdaq spokesman would comment on the rumors, while a Carlyle spokesman had no immediate comment.

Shares of Nasdaq OMX Group last traded at $30.76, up 4.4 percent.

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