Nasdaq OMX ups Agora-X stake to 85%

Nasdaq OMX ups Agora-X stake to 85%

Nasdaq OMX has upped its stake in Agora-X, an ECN for trading over-the-counter (OTC) commodity contracts, from 20% to 85% through a $6.6 million investment.

Agora-X was launched in mid-2008 as a subsidiary of commodity risk management firm FCStone, which provided seed funding for the ECN. Prior to the platform's launch, FCStone sold Nasdaq OMX a 20% stake for $7.5 million and selected the exchange's trading technology for the project.

Now, Nasdaq OMX has acquired another 65%. The exchange refused to reveal financial terms but in its own statement, FCStone says the investment is just $6.6 million while it retains a 15% stake and a board seat and will continue to support Agora-X as its primary OTC platform.

The ECN will now become part of the Nasdaq OMX Commodities business with CEO Brent Weisenborn reporting to Geir Reigstad.

Hans-Ole Jochumsen, EVP, Nasdaq OMX Transaction Services Nordics, says: "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."

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