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Germany : Potential merger of equals between Deutsche Boerse AG (Deutsche Boerse) and London Stock Exchange Group plc (LSE).

Further to recent speculation, the Management Board of Deutsche Boerse and the Board of LSE confirm that they are in detailed discussions about a potential merger of equals of the two businesses (the Potential Merger).

The Potential Merger would be structured as an all-share merger of equals under a new holding company. Under the terms of the Potential Merger, Deutsche Boerse shareholders would be entitled to receive one new share in exchange for each Deutsche Boerse share and LSE shareholders would be entitled to receive 0.4421 new shares in exchange for each LSE share. Based on this exchange ratio, the parties anticipate that Deutsche Boerse shareholders would hold 54.4 per cent, and LSE shareholders would hold 45.6 per cent of the enlarged issued and to be issued share capital of the combined group. The combined group would have a unitary board composed of equal numbers of Deutsche Boerse and LSE directors.

The Management Board of Deutsche Boerse and the Board of LSE believe that the Potential Merger would represent a compelling opportunity for both companies to strengthen each other in an industry-defining combination, creating a leading European-based global markets infrastructure group. The combination of Deutsche Boerse and LSEs complementary growth strategies, products, services and geographic footprint would be expected to deliver an enhanced ability to provide a full service offering to customers on a global basis. Deutsche Boerse and LSE believe that the Potential Merger would offer the prospect of enhanced growth, significant customer benefits including cross-margining between listed and OTC derivatives clearing (subject to regulatory approvals), as well as substantial revenue and cost synergies and increased shareholder value. All key businesses of Deutsche Boerse and LSE would continue to operate under their current brand names. The existing regulatory framework of all regulated entities within the combined group would remain unchanged, subject to customary and final regulatory approvals.

Discussions between the parties remain ongoing regarding the other terms and conditions of the Potential Merger.

The formal announcement of the Potential Merger remains conditional on, inter alia, agreement on the other terms and conditions of the Potential Merger, satisfactory completion of customary due diligence and final approval by the Boards of Deutsche Boerse and LSE. The parties reserve the right to a) waive these pre-conditions, b), with the agreement of the other party, to vary the form of consideration and/or make an offer on higher or lower terms (including the exchange ratio), albeit no revision is currently expected, and/or c) to adjust the terms to take account of any dividend announced, declared, made or paid by either party, save for ordinary course dividends (consistent with past practice in timing and amount) declared or paid prior to completion.

There can be no certainty that any transaction will occur. Any transaction would be subject to regulatory approval, Deutsche Boerse shareholders acceptance and LSE shareholder approval, as well as other customary conditions.

Under the UK City Code on Takeovers and Mergers (the Code), the new holding company or Deutsche Boerse are required, by no later than 5.00 p.m. on 22 March 2016 (if not extended with the consent of the UK Takeover Panel), to do one of the following: (i) announce a firm intention to make an offer for LSE in accordance with the Code; or (ii) announce that they do not intend to make an offer and that they will not make an offer for LSE for a period of 6 months.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Feb 24, 2016
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