By Mary Chung and Vincent Boland in New York Published: May 1 2002 22:45 | Last Updated: May 1 2002 22:47 The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, the world's second largest futures market, is seeking to complete its initial public offering this year in spite of a dramatic boardroom reshuffle that ousted its chairman last week. If it gets a stock market listing before the end of the year, the CME would be the first US exchange to sell its shares to the public. There were concerns that the CME board's decision to remove Scott Gordon as chairman and replace him with Terrence Duffy would disrupt the IPO plan. But people close to the CME said on Wednesday the appointment of Mr Duffy, a veteran trader and former vice-chairman, would have little impact on its strategic direction. "We have a unique and strong board. The [chairman's] face may be different but the direction remains the same. It's very political here at the Merc but this is how we do it in Chicago," a source familiar with the CME's thinking said. The CME has an incentive to complete its IPO before December 31 because that is when the deadline for transfer restrictions - or the trading of its Class A shares - expire. After that deadline, stockholders would be allowed to sell a portion of their shares and the CME would be forced to take a new vote to extend the transfer restriction. Valuing the CME could prove tricky. Its value would be based on the price of its trading seats. According to the most recent figures, the seat value could be about $895m. In addition its Class A shares are understood to be worth an additional $480m. Combining the two would value the CME at about $1.4bn. However, the exchange believes it is worth considerably more. The closest to a precedent for valuing the world's main futures markets is last year's purchase of the Liffe derivatives exchange in London by Euronext. The deal last October was the first acquisition of one leading marketplace by another. The French operator paid Â£555m ($813m) for the London International Financial Futures and Options Exchange, which is Europe's number two futures market measured by the volume of contracts traded, and its number one exchange measured by the value of those contracts. If the CME floats, it will be following a pattern begun outside the US of securities exchanges seeking stock market listings to raise cash and to have shares to use as an acquisition currency. Exchanges in Hong Kong, Australia, London, Frankfurt and Paris have all listed in the past two years. A float could also persuade other US securities exchanges to choose that route.