07.11.2016

Deutsche Boerse Poised to Lower Vote Threshold to Seal LSE Deal

(This article originally appeared in The Telegraph)

Deutsche Boerse has cut the vote threshold needed to clear its merger with the London Stock Exchange in a bid to push the deal through, giving investors an extra two weeks lend their support.

The German exchange now needs the support of 60pc of shareholders, instead of 75pc as before, to win approval for the £20bn merger, which has already been backed overwhelmingly by LSE investors.

Deutsche Boerse said the change was a formality to allow the participation of index funds, which hold 15pc of the firm’s stock but can only tender their shares in support once a majority of other investors support the deal.

“This change in procedure is a purely technical one. We are confident that we will reach the 75pc threshold in the course of the full tender process,” said chief financial officer Gregor Pottmeyer.

Investors in Deutsche Boerse now have until July 26 to decide whether or not to back the deal by tendering their shares. Previously, the deadline was due to fall tomorrow and 28.08pc of shares had already been tendered by Friday night.

On Friday, LSE Group confirmed 99.89pc of its voting shareholders had supported the deal, far above the 75pc threshold required. But the merger has faced disquiet in Europe over plans to site the headquarters of the joint group in London, regardless of Brexit.

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