KC Board of Trade sold to CME

The trading floor of the Kansas City Board of Trade in June 2012. (Jeremy Bernfeld/Harvest Public Media)

CME Group Inc. is buying the Kansas City Board of Trade, The Kansas City Star reported today.

The $126 million cash deal will mark the end of an era of independence for the 156-year-old KC Board of Trade, which is the world’s largest exchange for hard red winter wheat. The sale, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year, requires approval by regulators and the exchange’s shareholders.

Chicago-based CME, which controls the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, encompasses 98 percent of U.S. futures trading, The Star said.

CME Group said it will maintain the Kansas City trading floor for at least six months.

The Wall Street Journal noted that CME has been trying to fend off a challenge from rival IntercontinentalExchange Inc., which in May launched its own grain-futures contracts, mirroring similar products for corn, wheat and soybeans traded at CME.