ICE, Black Knight announce FTC agreement that clears way for $11.7 billion buyout

Intercontinental Exchange Inc. and the Jacksonville-based mortgage technology company expect to close the deal Sept. 5.

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  • | 12:29 p.m. August 26, 2023
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Black Knight Inc. and Intercontinental Exchange Inc. plan a $11.7 billion merger.
Black Knight Inc. and Intercontinental Exchange Inc. plan a $11.7 billion merger.
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Intercontinental Exchange Inc. and Black Knight Inc. announced an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission late Aug. 25 that clears the way for ICE to complete its $11.7 billion buyout of Jacksonville-based Black Knight.

The companies expect to close the deal Sept. 5, which is 16 months after announcing a merger agreement.

The deal has been held up by FTC antitrust concerns that the merged company would control too much of the U.S. mortgage technology market.

Black Knight dominates the market for processing home loans, with nearly two-thirds of all first mortgage loans in the U.S. processed through its system.

Atlanta-based ICE is mainly known as the operator of the New York Stock Exchange but it also has a large mortgage technology subsidiary.

The companies tried to satisfy the FTC’s concerns with an agreement in March to sell Black Knight’s loan origination technology business called Empower to Constellation Software Inc.

When that wasn’t enough for the FTC to drop its opposition, the companies in July announced another agreement to sell Black Knight’s data subsidiary, Optimal Blue, to Constellation.

After the Optimal Blue agreement, the FTC agreed Aug. 7 to drop a federal lawsuit seeking to block ICE’s acquisition of Black Knight.

The companies expect to complete the divestiture of Empower and Optimal Blue 20 days after completing the merger.

Black Knight set a deadline of Sept. 1 for its stockholders to decide if they want to receive cash or ICE stock in exchange for their shares, as part of the merger agreement.



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