The Wall Street Journal: GFI shareholders vote down $746 million sale to CME, management

GFI Group Inc. shareholders rejected a buyout proposal from CME Group Inc. and GFI management, according to people familiar with the matter, opening the door for rival BGC Partners Inc. to press its own hostile bid for the company.

CME’s $ 5.85-a-share bid failed to get enough votes at a shareholder meeting Friday in New York, the people said. CME had planned to keep GFI’s software businesses and sell back the brokerage, a middleman to Wall Street banks, to a group of GFI executives including Chairman Mickey Gooch.

BGC, run by Cantor Fitzgerald chief Howard Lutnick, has made a competing, $ 6.10-a-share tender offer for all of GFI, in which it owns a 13.5% stake. That offer values the firm at about $ 778 million and expires Tuesday.

Interdealer brokers like GFI GFIG, -1.23%  and BGC connect banks looking to trade complex financial instruments such as derivatives. The business has been under pressure in recent years as banks have curbed their trading and regulators have sought more oversight over the derivatives market.

GFI Group shares fell seven cents to $ 5.61, in afternoon trading, a 1.2% decline in line with the broader market. BGC Partners fell 4.3% to $ 7.83, and CME CME, -1.07%  shares fell 1.1% to $ 85.30.

Bloomberg earlier reported on the vote.

An expanded version of this report appears at WSJ.com.


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