CME Group and Dow Jones & Co. will form a joint venture to operate a global index services business, the companies said Wednesday.

Under the agreement, derivatives exchange operator CME Group will own 90% of the venture to which Dow Jones will contribute its Dow Jones Indexes business valued at US$675 million. Dow Jones will hold the remaining 10% and retain a role in the management of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

CME Group will contribute a business which provides certain market data services valued at US$607.5 million to the joint venture. The new joint venture will also raise approximately US$613 million in third-party debt which will be used to pay a US$607.5 million distribution to Dow Jones.

The joint venture will license the Dow Jones name for the financial-index business on a long-term basis, but ownership of the Dow Jones brand, including trademarked names, remains with Dow Jones, which will focus on the financial news and business information segments.

The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, is scheduled for completion in the first quarter.

“We are pleased to strengthen our partnership with Dow Jones,” said CME Group executive chairman Terry Duffy.

“Joining the resources and expertise of one of the world’s leading marketplaces for equity index derivatives trading with a premier index provider is an exciting next step that will allow us to expand our index and market data offerings as well as to fuel growth opportunities in our equity index complex. We expect this transaction will allow us to further diversify our revenue streams, creating sustainable new value for our customers and shareholders.”