Nymex buys 19% stake in Optionable

Source: NYMEX Holdings

NYMEX Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:NMX), the parent company of the New York Mercantile Exchange, Inc., announced today that it will purchase a 19 percent stake in Optionable, Inc. (OTCBB:OPBL), a leading provider of natural gas and other energy derivatives brokerage services, from its three founding stockholders.

In addition to the acquisition, the transaction includes certain cooperative technology initiatives and the issuance to NYMEX of a warrant which would permit it to increase its stake.

NYMEX Chairman Richard Schaeffer said, "We are excited to invest in Optionable and to work with its management to expand NYMEX's position in the options space. As we reflect on the success that NYMEX ClearPort has achieved and look for new areas of growth for the future, we recognize that options trading, both open outcry and electronic, will be a significant component of that future growth. OPEX technology is uniquely positioned to help us achieve our goals. We remain committed to working with the voice brokerage community, which provides significant volume and open interest to NYMEX contracts, in helping them grow their business."

Optionable CEO Kevin Cassidy said, "This strategic relationship between Optionable and NYMEX, the world's largest exchange for the trading of energy futures and options contracts, will propel our growth in energy and other commodity markets. The combination of having NYMEX as a stakeholder in our success and the development of joint technology programs will enhance our high standing within the energy and other commodities derivatives community. The transaction was structured to allow NYMEX to be a stakeholder in Optionable without immediate dilution to existing shareholders, and to allow Optionable's existing management to retain a high percentage of ownership in the Company. We believe that this cooperation between both companies will be extremely favorable to our business, and consequently will be well-received by our existing and potential clients."

Closing of the transaction, which is expected to occur within sixty days, is subject to NYMEX Board of Directors satisfaction with its reasonable due diligence review and completion of necessary definitive documentation.

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