NYSE rejects NASDAQ-ICE bid

As expected, Big Board criticizes break-up proposal and stands by merger agreement with Deutsche Börse

NYSE Euronext has rejected the takeover proposal from NASDAQ and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) and reaffirmed its commitment to a tie-up with Deutsche Börse.

In a statement on NYSE Euronext’s website, the exchange says the bid from NASDAQ and ICE is ‘strategically unattractive’ and contains ‘unacceptable execution risk’.

NASDAQ and ICE may now decide to take their offer direct to NYSE Euronext shareholders.

The planned all-share merger between NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Börse was disrupted two weeks ago when NASDAQ and ICE made a superior cash and shares counterbid worth around $11.3 bn.

NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Börse want to join forces, creating a global exchange group of unprecedented size. NASDAQ and ICE, on the other hand, plan to break up NYSE Euronext, with NASDAQ taking the listings business and ICE the derivatives operations.

‘Breaking up NYSE Euronext, burdening the pieces with high levels of debt and destroying its invaluable human capital would be a strategic mistake in terms of where the global markets are going, and is clearly not in the best interests of our shareholders,’ comments chairman Jan-Michiel Hessels in a statement, speaking on behalf of the board.

‘The highly conditional break-up proposal from NASDAQ/ICE would also require shareholders to shoulder unacceptable execution risk,’ he adds.

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