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Bats was 'not for sale' prior to signing deal with CBOE

was notlooking for a merger partner prior to inking its with

Speakingon a conference call to discuss the $3.2 billion deal, Bats CEO Chris Concannonsaid the exchange always considered its options, but stressed that it was"not for sale" or running an auction. Both Concannon and CBOEexecutives over the course of the call repeatedly spoke to the uniqueness ofthe merger of the two exchanges.

"It'srare to find two companies that have such complementary business models,"Concannon said.

CBOECEO Edward Tilly, who will remain in that role following the deal's completion,noted that his company has been asked numerous times about what might prompt itto pull the trigger on a transaction. While other publicly traded exchangeshave been fairly acquisitive over the last several years, CBOE has only madetwo purchasessince its 2010 IPO. Tilly said that CBOE's position on dealmaking has notchanged; it has always been looking for a business that has a complementaryprofile and can enhance its growth prospects.

"Inother words, a company that looks a lot like Bats," said Tilly.

Tillyalso hinted that CBOE could become more acquisitive once the Bats deal closes,which is expected to take place in the first half of 2017. The CBOE CEO toldinvestors and analysts they might want to "take the under" on sixyears passing before it makes another purchase, though he did insist that theexchange's philosophy on dealmaking will not change.

"Itwill be exactly the same position and the same words we've used allalong," Tilly said.