11.30.2011
By Terry Flanagan

NYSE-Deutsche Borse on Track

The mega-merger between NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Borse is currently on track to close by the first quarter of next year.

“The merger, which we started talking about a year ago, is hopefully heading into the final stage,” said Joseph Mecane, executive vice president and co-head of U.S. listings and cash execution at NYSE Euronext, during Markets Media’s 2011 Global Markets Summit. “The big point now is the European antitrust review of the transaction and our concessions, which we submitted a few weeks ago. They have until mid-January to rule on that, so hopefully we get to a point of agreement and can close by early Q1.”

NYSE and Deutsche Borse submitted a remedy proposal to the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition, outlining certain concessions made in a move to alleviate the concerns of the authorities regarding their merger. Chief among the proposed remedies are moves to divest their overlapping businesses. It plans to divest it pan-European single equity derivatives business, including Bclear. The merger partners also said that they will give rival venues access to Eurex Clearing, their Germany-based derivatives clearing house.

It is clear that consolidation in the exchange space is going to continue.

“The drive for mergers is obvious,” said Mecane. “You can introduce product diversity, including being able to expand from equities to derivatives, and also into clearing and settlement. You can also develop new technology, provide market data analysis. There will be a continued trend toward scale and global capital raising in general, as all of us continue to globalize our business.”

With the timing of the concession submission on late Thursday, the competition commission will extend the review period by an additional 15 working days from the original Dec. 22. A decision on the merger can now be expected by Jan. 23, 2012, with the parties expecting to close on the deal in the early part of the year.

NYSE and Deutsche Borse agreed to their $17.7 billion merger in February, with shareholders approving the deal in July. Regulators outlined their objections in a statement in early October, with oral hearings held later that month. The companies expect to save as much as $3 billion in capital requirements through the deal, as well as reduce any duplicative infrastructures and operations.

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