Deutsche Börse’s Chief Executive Carsten Kengeter is facing mounting pressure for his alleged role in insider trading, which saw him purchase over $4.85 million of Deutsche Börse shares in December 2015, nearly two months before talks of a landmark merger with London Stock Exchange (LSE).
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Earlier this month, German prosecutors launched an investigation of Mr. Kengeter for suspected insider trading. For his part, Mr. Kengeter firmly shot down any such allegations, saying that any insider charges against him would prove totally unfounded and that he had no role or timing in dictating the timing of his share purchases with the announced merger plans with the LSE.
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Indeed, this stance was echoed in Deutsche Börse’s recent annualized results presentation: “We, Deutsche Boerse and myself, are fully cooperating with the public prosecutor. I am certain that, following detailed investigation, the allegations will turn out to be unfounded.”
“When I purchased the shares using my own funds, I did not do so at a time of my own choosing. I did so between 1 and 21 December 2015 within a time-frame fixed by the Supervisory board,” Mr. Kengeter added.
Earlier this month, the merger between Deutsche Börse and LSE forged ahead despite widespread resistance from European exchanges and regulators. Both groups also ceded little ground amidst antitrust concerns that have attempted to stall the deal, and are targeting a decision date of April 3, 2017 from the European Commission.