NYSE cheers successful Euronext bid

first_imgPARIS – As officials of the New York Stock Exchange and Euronext celebrated their proposed – and revolutionary – $9.96 billion union Friday, rival bidder Deutsche Boerse AG said it had no intention of abandoning its pursuit of Euronext and its four European stock exchanges. Even as NYSE Group Inc. CEO John Thain and Euronext Chairman Jan-Michiel Hessels held a news conference to explain their deal, Deutsche Boerse issued a statement reiterating that its bid, which Euronext executives advised shareholders against, was a good offer. The NYSE agreed Thursday to buy Euronext, which operates the Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon exchanges, for $9.96 billion in cash and stock. Deutsche Boerse has not released terms of its bid, but analysts have estimated it to be worth around $11 billion. It is believed the bid would require the combined company to carry more debt than the NYSE offer would. Deutsche Boerse’s persistence reflected the drive among stock exchanges to consolidate and extend their reach. A marriage between NYSE and Euronext would handle a staggering $2.1 trillion in stock trades each month and boast a market value of about $20 billion. Atticus controls a roughly 9 percent stake in Euronext, 6 percent in NYSE, and 5 percent in Deutsche Boerse. Another big shareholder, London-based hedge fund TCI Funds Management, favored the German bid. TCI said it would not comment on the NYSE-Euronext deal Friday. TCI holds 10 percent in Euronext and also holds 10 percent in Deutsche Boerse. Analysts believed it would be hard for Deutsche Boerse to thwart the NYSE-Euronext deal. “At the moment, Deutsche Boerse is the loser and today is Black Friday for them,” said Wolfgang Gerke, a professor of banking and finance at the University of Nuremberg and Erlangen. “It’s quite difficult for Deutsche Boerse because they were used to the position of opening doors,” he said. The NYSE-Euronext deal could turn world markets upside down, spurring mass consolidations, threatening the future of open-outcry trading and perhaps even opening the way for a round-the-clock worldwide exchange. The acquisition would create a single platform where traders could deal in stocks, options, futures, commodities and corporate bonds across two continents – for up to 12 hours daily. The latest turns in the fight for Euronext are part of a flurry of stock exchange merger proposals that began in March, when the Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. made a $4.5 billion bid for London Stock Exchange PLC. After the offer was rebuffed, the Nasdaq acquired more than 25 percent of the LSE, prompting Euronext to end its long-running interest in the British exchange. Frankfurt-based Deutsche Boerse has failed on several occasions in recent years to acquire the LSE and has said it will look for deals in the United States and Asia if its bid for Euronext collapses. Analyst Juergen Kurz of DSW, a German group that represents shareholders, said the NYSE-Euronext deal could end up marginalizing the company and reduce its chances of “remaining a really big player.” The German government insisted Friday that Deutsche Boerse made “an exceptionally attractive offer,” spokesman Thomas Steg said. Under the proposal, each NYSE share would be converted into one share of common stock of the new combined company NYSE Euronext. Holders of Euronext ordinary shares would be offered the right to exchange each of their shares for 0.98 share of NYSE Euronext stock and $27.42 in cash. The deal would require $3 billion in debt financing, which Thain predicted could be paid off in three years. Since Euronext operates electronically, many predict the consolidation could spell the end to the traditional floor trading at the NYSE’s lower Manhattan base. The NYSE itself only entered the electronic trading game – and went public – in March after acquiring Archipelago Holdings Inc. If the deal goes through, the exchange will have its group headquarters in New York and European headquarters at Euronext’s base. The board of a combined company would include 11 directors from NYSE and nine from Euronext.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2NYSE and Euronext officials stood by their deal to form NYSE Euronext. “We are fine with the New York Stock Exchange; we are committed to do this deal,” Hessels said when asked about Deutsche Boerse’s intentions. “We’re obliged to listen to anything that makes sense or adds value. “But, again, we have signed and are committed,” said Hessels, who would chair the combined company Thain, who would remain chief executive of the exchange, denied there would be a bidding war for Euronext and predicted the deal would be completed in about six months. He pointed out that U.S. hedge fund Atticus Capital – a major shareholder in Euronext – is supporting the NYSE deal over Deutsche Boerse’s offer. “That shareholder is the biggest shareholder of the New York Stock Exchange and is one of the biggest in Euronext,” Thain said. “This is a very significant shareholder who says this transaction makes sense to them.” last_img read more