A stock slide for owner of the Board of Trade

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Good afternoon everyone,

A follow-up to last week’s column on the Delaware Board of Trade’s plan to ask New Castle County to take the stock of the company as payment for a $3 million loan for the venture.

The council, as expected, authorized County Executive Matt Meyer to negotiate a deal.

Since the vote last week, stock in Ideanomics, the new owner of the company, has slid from $1.10 a share to 83 cents.

Ideanomics wants to do the stock deal, since it is ditching the software that was used as collateral for the loan.

The situation produced its share of headlines, thanks, in part, to the presence of Shane McMahon. Shane is a wrestler former wrestling announcer and member of World Wrestling Entertainment’s founding family. He is also executive vice-chairman of Ideanomics.

Ideanomics is actually controlled by Chinese investor Bernard Wu, although McMahon has ties to the Board of Trade as the founder of Seven Stars, an entertainment company.

Later under Woo, Seven Stars, which was renamed to Ideanomics, morphed into a tech company. Its big project is a technology hub in West Hartford, CT. at a now-closed college campus.

Ideanomics bought a minority stake in the stock exchange in 2017 and purchased remaining shares in May.

Earlier, a News Journal headline claimed that if the county loan went into default, it could own a company founded by a wrestler.

The exchange has sputtered along, making its annual loan payment, but employing only a few people. When the enterprise opened in 2015, there was talk of the headcount being over 100, with a sprinkling of highly paid stock traders.

In the end, council members, with the exception of long-time loan critic Karen Hartley-Nagle felt they had little choice but to take the loan.

Nagle wants Wu to guarantee the loan, rather than offer stock. Another option might have been to ask Sean McMahon for the money. Chances of either happening are about as likely as Delaware hosting a WWE SmackDown.

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