Deutsche Börse Group, LSE Merger Reaches 89% of Shares Tendered

Currently more than 89% of Deutsche Börse shares have been tendered, showing support of the merger.

Deutsche Börse AG and the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) have passed another threshold Wednesday, which saw the tender of 89.04% of Deutsche Börse shares under the offer of HLDCO123 PLC, according to a Deutsche Börse filing.

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Last week, a tendered offer of 75% of shares was reached, which represented an important hurdle for the merger between the two groups. The recent trending of shares is also welcome news given the recent skepticism surrounding the merger, namely in the aftermath of the Brexit referendum.

Despite the support, a special amendment had previously only required the approval of 60% of shareholders instead of the original 75%, however the deal has since progressed and headwinds still remain.

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With the passage of the offer and 75% of shareholders agreeing, the deal certainly looks more promising now than two months ago, when the Brexit fallout threatened to derail the merger. However, shareholders who have not tendered so far are still eligible to participate in the exchange offer, which has been recommended by the Management Board and Supervisory Board of Deutsche Börse.

According to Carsten Kengeter, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Deutsche Börse, in a recent statement on the support: “I would like to thank our shareholders for their clear support of this merger. We will now focus on achieving the necessary regulatory and anti-trust approvals. This merger will create a globally competitive market infrastructure group benefitting our customers, shareholders and the wider economy.”

Barriers Remain

The deal has remained controversial in Europe, given the resulting size of the newly merged entity. Last month, Portugal’s Finance Minister blasted the deal, threatening antitrust actions against the agreement.

Speaking at the time on the agreement, Portugal’s Finance Minister Mario Centeno warned: “The merger would negatively impact the functioning of the capital market. Such a concentration of trading and trade-related services poses a clear threat to competition. It also endangers the viability of several European stock exchanges.”

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