Index Deal Would Bring S&P, DJIA Together

McGraw-Hill Cos. is in advanced talks to combine its S&P Indices business with CME Group Inc.'s Dow Jones Indexes to create a joint venture that would house globally recognized stock market indicators such as the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, people familiar with the matter said Thursday.

If a deal goes through, the joint venture would be managed by McGraw-Hill, which would be the largest stakeholder, the people said. Under the terms being discussed, CME would have a minority stake of about 25 percent, while Dow Jones & Co. could have a minimal stake, the people added.

CME already owns 90 percent of Dow Jones Indexes through a joint venture formed in February 2010 with Dow Jones, a unit of News Corp. and publisher of The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones owns the remaining stake in that business and would have to approve a new joint venture between the S&P and Dow Jones Indexes.

Talks between McGraw-Hill and CME, which have been going on for more than a year, are continuing and could still fall apart, people familiar with the matter said. Terms of the discussions could also change, the people said.

Representatives for McGraw-Hill, CME and Dow Jones Indexes declined to comment.

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