By AP Business Writer
updated 11/7/2007 8:28:54 AM ET 2007-11-07T13:28:54

The Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. agreed Wednesday to pay $652 million in cash for the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, the third largest options market in the U.S.

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Nasdaq said in a statement that it expects the deal for the nation's oldest stock exchange will close in the first quarter and start to add to Nasdaq's bottom line in 2009.

Nasdaq plans to maintain the Philadelphia Exchange's structure _ operating the electronic options trading platform alongside the options trading floor in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Exchange in August hired in August retained financial advisory services firm Greenhill and Co. to outline its options, including a possible sale.

"This strategic combination achieves our goal of diversifying our product and service offerings with attractive benefits to our trading clients while generating strong financial returns," Nasdaq President and Chief Executive Bob Greifeld said in the statement.

The move comes as Nasdaq, like other exchanges, has been shaped by a wave of consolidation among the world's exchanges.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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