Exchange operator CME Group is in talks to buy Dow Jones' index business for up to $700 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Citing several people familiar with the matter, the paper says Dow Jones has been negotiating the sale of its index business, which manages the flagship Dow Jones Industrial Average, for months.
According to the WSJ, which is published by News Corp-owned Dow Jones, a deal was set to be confirmed last week but has been held up by last minute wrangling over price and terms.
According to Bloomberg, in 2007 CME Group, through the Chicago Board of Trade, paid $74 million for the exclusive use of many Dow Jones indexes. The exchange operator pays a fee every time a contract based on one of Dow Jones' indexes is traded, handing over between $30 million and $35 million a year.
MSCI, which has also held extensive talks about buying the unit, may now take advantage of the impasse, although it had switched its interest to RiskMetrics, which has recently put itself up for sale.
Dow Jones was acquired by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp for around $5.7 billion in 2007. Murdoch's main target was the Wall Street Journal and he has already sold off the company's 33.3% stake in Swiss index provider Stoxx to Deutsche Börse and Six Group for EUR206.1 million in cash.
CME in Line For Indexes Of Dow Jones- WSJ