U.S. regulators blocked a bid for the sale of the Chicago Stock Exchange by a group of China-based investors. Regulators blocked the potential sale due to ambiguity could threaten the exchange.
The Securities and Exchange Commission ends a two-year long battle by the group to gain approval for the sale, but it also highlights yet another blocked takeover attempt under President Donald Trump’s administration.
SEC staff initially approved the sale of the exchange back in August, but shortly after SEC commissioners put the decision on hold for further investigation. The decision was led by SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, who was appointed by Trump.
The SEC said its in review that it was unable to receive necessary information required from the group of investors, including how the deal would be funded. Regulators said this raised concern, saying if it would be able to monitor the exchange.
The acquisition was proposed in February 2016 by Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group. The privately owned group has approximately 800 employees that invests in real estate, environmental protection and financial firms.
The Trump administration has made its position clear in potential Chinese investors taking over U.S. owned businesses. Government officials have been concerned and expressed negativity towards the issue. Many officials say its a way for the Chinese government to integrate itself into our country in the midst of rising tensions.
Casin has denied affiliation with the Chinese government.
Earlier in January, Moneygram’s deal with Ant Financial Services Group, affiliate company of Alibaba, was also blocked by U.S. regulators. The deal was approximately $1.2 billion, marking it the most expensive deals blocked by regulators.
“This has been a long fight, and I am grateful we now have a President who recognizes the national security threats of allowing a Chinese government-affiliated company to own the Chicago Stock Exchange,” Republican Congressman Robert Pittenger said in a statement on Thursday.