New York Mercantile Exchange owner Nymex Holdings Inc. said late last month that it expects to raise $288-312 million through the offering of six million shares of the company's stock at its upcoming initial public offering (IPO).

In a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Oct. 31, Nymex said it currently estimates that the IPO offering price will be between $48 and $52 per share. Under the IPO, the company is offering 4.89 million shares of common stock, while selling stockholders are offering an additional 1.11 million shares.

Assuming an offering price of $50, Nymex said net proceeds from the sale of common stock under this offering will be approximately $220.2 million. "The principal purposes of this offering are to obtain additional capital, create a public market for our common stock, facilitate our future access to public equity markets and provide increased visibility in a marketplace in which a number of our current and potential competitors are or will be publicly held companies," Nymex said in its filing.

Last fall, chief Nymex competitor, the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), launched a very successful IPO (see Daily GPI, Nov. 17, 2005). Some market watchers see Nymex's IPO as a leveling of the playing field in the commodity exchange arena.

Nymex said that other than a payment of $10 million to the owners of Comex Division memberships, Nymex has "no specific allocations for the use of proceeds from this offering" at this time. As previously reported, Nymex will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "NMX."

Earlier in the week, Nymex reported record 3Q net revenues, net income, and volume for the third quarter, while ICE, which operates a global electronic marketplace for trading both futures and over-the-counter (OTC) energy contracts, reported its third consecutive quarter of record results in revenue, net income and operating margin driven by record trading volume for the third quarter (see Daily GPI, Nov. 8).

Adding to the busy time, Nymex also reportedly sold a Nymex division membership seat, which includes 90,000 shares in Nymex Holdings, for a record $5.8 million on Nov. 6. The new sale bests the previous record of $5.5 million, which was set back on April 28 of this year.

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