Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext said on Wednesday they were in advanced talks to merge, just hours after London Stock Exchange unveiled a bid for Canadian market operator TMX Group Inc.
Other exchanges said they were considering striking their own deals or looking to take advantage of the distraction, in early signs of ripples through the world’s capital markets.
CBOE Holdings Inc, IntercontinentalExchange Inc , BATS Global Markets and Chi-X Europe all weighed in Friday on the deals that would see Europeans acquire the New York Stock Exchange and the Toronto Stock Exchange.
“Every exchange that wasn’t involved in the two mergers — the four that were not involved — had to at lunch on Wednesday be asking themselves, ‘Should I be involved in some way?’ and calling their bankers and thinking strategically,” said Alan Dean, CBOE’s chief financial officer.
“It has to be a jolt I think for all market participants in this industry,” he said at a conference hosted by Credit Suisse.
CBOE, the largest of the U.S. options venues, is seen as a likely takeover target. The other public U.S. operators, ICE, Nasdaq OMX Group Inc, and CME Group Inc, are larger players with histories of being buyers.
One of the mergers would create the world’s largest exchange company in Deutsche Boerse-NYSE Euronext, and could put pressure others to keep pace as the companies shift into more profitable derivatives businesses to stave off competition from upstart stock-trading venues.
Jeffrey Sprecher, ICE’s chief executive, said his rivals are attempting to “muscle their way in or acquire their way into the derivatives space,” reinforcing the value of that business.
“I bodes very very well for my company to have a lot of these people distracted by with these complicated mergers, these cross-border mergers that are going to involve a lot of regulation and regulatory intervention to get these deals completed,” Sprecher told the conference.
Story: Exchanges seek partners after Deutsche Boerse’s NYSE bid
“We feel very opportunistic right now that we’re in an excellent position to take advantage of their downturn.”
Merging the iconic New York Stock Exchange with Germany’s Deutsche Boerse will force European companies to switch to using U.S. accounting rules which have superior disclosures, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on Friday.
“This will force a common set of accounting standards on the world; the American disclosures are better,” Bloomberg said on his weekly WOR radio show, though he admitted U.S. rules did not prevent Bernard Madoff from swindling billions of dollars through a Ponzi scheme.
U.S. rulemakers have been working on aligning their accounting standards with international rules used by more than 100 countries, including European nations. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has said it will decide some time this year whether to require U.S. companies to switch to international standards.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.