The new entity, to be named Longitude LLC, will become an operating unit of ISE, which will retain majority-ownership in partnership with Goldman Sachs, which is increasing its pre-existing minority stake. Terms of the transaction have not been disclosed.
Since late 2002 Goldman Sachs has used the Longitude platform to clear risk and build liquidity for a wide range of auction products. Currently, the products offered include options on economic data in partnership with the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and options on certain energy market statistics in partnership with ICAP Energy and the New York Mercantile Exchange. Upon closing, the new Longitude LLC will service these existing auction markets.
"ISE has acquired Longitude, in partnership with Goldman Sachs, to fulfill our vision of delivering expanded product offerings for the industry that demonstrate our commitment to growth and innovative technology," said David Krell, President and Chief Executive Officer of ISE. "We believe that Longitude's platform complements ISE's existing infrastructure and technologies and diversifies the suite of capabilities that we can deliver to the market."
Longitude's platform facilitates development of event contracts and other new derivatives contracts. This business will report into ISE's Corporate Initiatives division, which is headed by Thomas Ascher, Chief Strategy Officer. Tom Ascher noted that "ISE continues to embrace new technology to expand our product delivery platform for innovative derivatives products. We are committed to leveraging Longitude's proprietary, patented technology to support and build upon the exciting suite of products which have already been developed."
Laurie Ferber, Managing Director and head of Goldman Sachs economic derivatives group, said "As one of the early adopters of Longitude's unique risk transfer platform, we are excited about the ISE's commitment to these markets and look forward to working with them in bringing added innovation to our existing markets and new outlets. Goldman Sachs is committed to expanding the range of product offerings available to investors to help them hedge their portfolios and manage the risks associated with macro-economic events."
The International Securities Exchange, the world's largest equity options exchange, was founded on the principle that technology fosters and infuses new efficiencies and operational innovations into securities trading. After developing an innovative market structure that integrated auction market principles into an advanced screen-based trading system, ISE launched the first fully electronic US options exchange in May 2000. ISE continually enhances its trading systems to provide investors with the best marketplace to execute their options orders.
For more information about ISE, its products and its technology, visit www.iseoptions.com.
Goldman Sachs Background
Goldman Sachs is leading global investment banking, securities and investment management firm that provides a wide range of services worldwide to a substantial and diversified client base that includes corporations, financial institutions, governments and high net-worth individuals. Founded in 1869, it is one of the oldest and largest investment banking firms. The firm is headquartered in New York and maintains offices in London, Frankfurt, Tokyo, Hong Kong and other major financial centers around the world. For more information about Goldman Sachs, please visit www.gs.com.
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