Chicago Board Options Exchange is just days or weeks from a demutualisation

THE Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), the primary options-trading venue in the US, yesterday said it had struck a deal over ownership rights to the bourse that will knock down the last hurdle preventing a demutualisation &ldquo;within days or weeks&rdquo;.<br /><br />The CBOE, one of the world&rsquo;s last big member-owned financial exchanges, will pay $2.1m (&pound;1.3m) to settle appeals in its long-running legal battle over which members have an equity stake in the bourse. This settlement leaves the exchange close to mounting an initial public offering or allows it to accept a bid from a larger rival.<br /><br />The CME Group, the world&rsquo;s biggest futures exchange also based in Chicago, could make a bid for CBOE, but will probably face competition from rivals like NYSE Euronext. Analysts value CBOE at $3bn-$5bn.<br /><br />CBOE&rsquo;s status had been caught in limbo for years as it battled with members of the Chicago Board of Trade, who kept their trading rights to the exchange. They said they were entitled to a stake in the bourse when it demutualised.