CME Group CEO sees no need for new acquisitions

By Reuters
Posted July 29, 2010 at 8:42 a.m.

CME Group. CEO Craig Donohue appeared to rule out growth by acquisition on Thursday, and said excess cash would be returned to shareholders as soon as next year.

Since 2007, CME has bought two large exchanges, the Chicago Board of Trade and the New York Mercantile Exchange, becoming the largest U.S. financial exchange operator.

There had been speculation the company might make more acquisitions, perhaps buying the neighboring Chicago Board Options Exchange, whose parent, CBOE Holdings Inc., completed an initial public offering last month.

But Donohue said on Thursday that after an extensive review of CME’s capital structure, he does not expect to buy any more rivals but instead will seek to return excess cash to shareholders.

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