IntercontinentalExchange, a US-based operator of regulated global futures exchanges, has agreed to acquire UK-based Climate Exchange, which operates the European Climate Exchange, the Chicago Climate Exchange and the Chicago Climate Futures Exchange.

Under the terms of the acquisition, Climate Exchange shareholders will receive GBP7.50 in cash for each share in Climate Exchange held at current rate, valuing the entire existing issued and to be issued share capital of Climate Exchange at approximately $604m.

Morgan Stanley advised IntercontinentalExchange(ICE) on the transaction and Shearman & Sterling served as ICE’s legal adviser.

Jeffrey Sprecher, chairman and CEO of ICE, said: “The combination of Climate Exchange’s emissions markets and ICE’s futures and OTC energy markets is an important and logical strategic combination for our customers and shareholders, and clearly an exciting opportunity for ICE to grow and further diversify our revenues.

“The leadership that Climate Exchange has shown in establishing market standards in Europe, and increasingly the US and Asia, has driven its success, and we see continued growth opportunities within these nascent markets globally.”

The transaction is expected to close at the end of July 2010.