NYSE Euronext rejects latest Nasdaq/ICE bid

21st April 2011, Comments 0 comments

NYSE Euronext said Thursday its board "unanimously" rejected the latest offer from US rivals Nasdaq OMX and Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) in favour of a bid from Deutsche Boerse.

The Nasdaq-ICE offer is "substantially the same as the one we have already rejected. We have not changed our mind," head of the board Jan-Michiel Hessels said in statement.

He repeated that the latest offer was not in the interest of NYSE Euronext shareholders.

Earlier this week Nasdaq and ICE said they had boosted their bid to buy NYSE Euronext, offering to pay it $350 million if the deal failed to get regulatory approval.

Nasdaq OMX and ICE did not alter the terms of their April 1 cash-and-stock offer that had been rejected by NYSE Euronext as it pursued an agreed merger with Germany's Deutsche Boerse.

But they said they had taken a series of steps "demonstrating their commitment to pursuing their superior proposal with NYSE Euronext and providing greater certainty to the NYSE Euronext Board."

A key measure is the addition of a $350-million "reverse break-up fee" which NYSE Euronext would receive if the proposal failed to win required antitrust or competition approvals.

The exchange operators also announced they had secured committed financing of $3.8 billion to fund the buyout.

Their bid values NYSE Euronext at $42.67 per share as of Monday's market close, they said, a 21 percent premium over Deutsche Boerse's rival bid valued at $35.29 per share.

"The Nasdaq OMX/ICE proposal remains superior by a significant and inescapable margin," the companies insisted.

If the bid was successful, NYSE Euronext would be broken up, with its Liffe derivatives business going to ICE while Nasdaq OMX -- best known for trading the world's leading technology firms -- would take control of the stock markets in New York, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Lisbon.

Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext announced February 15 they would merge to create the world's biggest exchange by revenues and a major player in derivatives trading across two continents.

While both parties emphasized a merger of equals, the combined Netherlands-incorporated firm would be owned 60 percent by existing Deutsche Boerse shareholders and 40 percent by NYSE Euronext shareholders, and the German company would dominate the new board.

© 2011 AFP

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