Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) operates four regulated futures exchanges, two over-the-counter (OTC) markets and five clearing houses globally.

ICE agreed to an $8 billion deal to buy New York Stock Exchange owner NYSE Euronext on Thursday.

Date

2000 IntercontinentalExchange founded

In March 2000, seven leading banks and energy concerns announced they were launching an online electronic market for trading over-the-counter (OTC) energy, metals and other commodities. Jeffrey Sprecher, previously resident of Atlanta's Continental Power Exchange, the company which developed the trading system to be used by ICE, was slated as CEO.

2001 ICE acquires London-based International Petroleum Exchange (IPE)

2002 ICE launches industry's first cleared over-the-counter (OTC) energy contracts

2005 ICE initial public offering

Transition to electronic energy futures trade 2006 Launch of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude contract February 3, competing with CME Group's light sweet crude contract and its benchmark WTI

2007 ICE completes acquisition of New York Board of Trade (NYBOT)

ICE makes unsolicited offer for CBOT Holdings Inc. as alternative to Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings Inc. previous offer. CME acquires CBOT after increasing bid to counter threat from ICE offer

CEO Sprecher says ICE open to buying out a rival or being bought out. "You're in a consolidating industry," Sprecher tells Reuters.

2008 ICE acquires credit default swaps (CDS) processor Creditex

CDS clearing launched in U.S. and Europe

CEO Sprecher tells Reuters ICE constantly talking to exchanges

2009 ICE acquires the Clearing Corporation

2010 ICE acquires the Climate Exchange

(Reporting by Robert Gibbons and Phil Wahba; editing by Andrew Hay)