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2 Chinese investors drop out of bid for Chicago Stock Exchange

Nereida Moreno, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Business News

CHICAGO--Two of the three China-based bidders for the Chicago Stock Exchange have withdrawn from a group trying to acquire the market.

American investors would own 71 percent of the exchange under an amended proposal submitted to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Chinese investors would 29 percent, said Drew Mauck, a spokesman for the exchange.

Chongqing Jintian Industrial Co. and Chongqing Longshang Decoration Co. left the bidding group with American company Xian Tong Enterprises Inc. Together, they had planned to buy 36.44 percent of the exchange.

China's Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group Co. remains the lead investor through a subsidiary called North America Casin Holdings Inc. The company would buy a 29 percent stake under the amended proposal.

Other investors that were part of the original bid have increased their stakes in the offer.

If the deal had gone through with all three China-based bidders in place, the Chicago Stock Exchange would have been the first U.S. exchange to be owned by a group consisting heavily of Chinese companies. A group of congressmen expressed concerns about whether the transaction would allow the Chinese government to get a foothold in the U.S. financial system.

"We are confident this will address any concerns the commission may have had about the ownership composition," John Kerin, CEO of the exchange, said in a statement Wednesday.

Staff members at the SEC endorsed the transaction in August, but commissioners decided they wanted more time to think about the deal, valued at roughly $30 million.

SEC commissioners can overrule powers granted to staff attorneys to make decisions about the nation's exchanges.

(c)2017 Chicago Tribune

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