NEW YORK CME Group Inc. is looking to sell the building that houses the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) and the exchanges trading floor.
CME said it has retained Newmark Grubb Knight Frank (NGKF) to explore a possible sale of the 16-story building at 1 North End Ave. in New York.
The exchange said it will continue operation of the Nymex trading floor in New York regardless of whether the Nymex building is sold. In the event of a sale, CME said it may lease back a portion of the building, including the trading floor.
"CME Group remains committed to our floor-based membership and open-outcry trading services in New York, which continue to be a profitable part of our business and serve our customers well," CME chief financial officer Jamie Parisi said in a statement.
The volume of copper traded on the floor of the Comex division of Nymex has diminished greatly in recent years, with about 90 percent of trading now taking place electronically.
"The sale of the Nymex building will help us continue to reinvest in our core derivatives business, just as we did following the sale and lease-back of office space in the CBOT (Chicago Board of Trade) building in Chicago last year," Parisi said. "Going forward, whether we decide to retain occupancy at 1 North End (Ave.) or relocate within Lower Manhattan, we are committed to updating our New York offices to reflect the innovation and quality of our CME Group offices around the world."
NGKF vice chairman Neil Goldmacher and Holly Duran of CME global real estate advisor Holly Duran Real Estate Partners LLC will investigate a sale-leaseback as well as the possibility of relocating Nymex elsewhere in lower Manhattan, CME said.
CME Group acquired the Nymex building, along with the exchange, in 2008. CME owns the building on a ground lease from New Yorks Battery Park City Authority that expires in June 2069. Nymex has occupied the building since 1997.