The acquisition, which was proposed in February 2016 and worth around $25 million, was led by Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group, a privately held company that invests in real estate development and financial holdings.
Though the transaction was relatively small, it drew outsize attention because of the country of origin of the lead investor, Chongqing Casin Enterprise Group Co. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, who joined the agency this year following a career as a deals lawyer, has publicly fretted that it's too hard for companies to go public in the U.S. The exchange had hoped to address that situation by selling itself, while also creating a conduit to China. But opponents of the takeover, including a number of U.S. lawmakers, said letting a Chinese firm invest in a U.S. exchange was a bad idea. On the campaign trail, Donald Trump blasted the transaction after it was announced in early 2016. A year ago, the sale was cleared by a panel that reviews foreign takeovers for national security threats.