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CME Asks CBOT Shareholders for Support

Chicago Mercantile Exchange Holdings on Friday sent a letter to shareholders and members of the Chicago Board of Trade urging them to accept its bid for the CBOT Holdings.

CME , which is offering about $10.6 billion for the CBOT, is competing with IntercontinentalExchange, a futures exchange whose offer for the CBOT values the exchange at $11.9 billion.

In the letter, CME says its offer "provides significantly more value and immediate growth opportunities with the lowest risk."

The letter follows IntercontinentalExchange's statement Thursday that its offer is "clearly superior" to CME's bid.

Although InterncontinentalExchange's offer is larger, the CBOT's board has consistently endorsed the CME offer, saying CME makes a better fit.

The three companies operate futures exchanges, which allow investors to bet on anything from interest rates and gold to milk prices by offering contracts whose value is tied to an underlying asset or event.

CME and the CBOT are both based in Chicago, use the same clearing service and host trading of similar types of contracts. ICE is an electronic exchange based in Atlanta, specializing in energy contracts.

Shareholders will vote on the takeover in a July 9 meeting.