Belfast Telegraph

London, Frankfurt to merge stock exchanges in £21bn deal

By Holly Williams

The London Stock Exchange and German rival Deutsche Borse revealed plans to save more than £350m a year as they agreed a tie-up to create an exchange giant worth more than £21bn.

Billed as a "merger of equals", the transaction will see Deutsche Borse own 54.4% of the combined group, with LSE shareholders taking the remaining 45.6%.

The pair pressed on with their all-share deal amid the threat of a possible rival bid from the owner of the New York Stock Exchange.

Intercontinental Exchange confirmed it was mulling a possible counter-offer earlier this month for the LSE, which owns index compiler FTSE and Borsa Italiana.

Chicago's CME Group - which has a back office in Belfast - had also reportedly considered entering the fray.

The LSE and Deutsche Borse deal marks their third attempt to merge after previous moves failed in 2000 and 2004-5 when talks collapsed.

Under the merger plans, the combined LSE and Deutsche Borse will maintain headquarters in London and Frankfurt, while it will also be listed on the LSE and Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

The as-yet-unnamed group will be domiciled in the UK for tax purposes.

Details of the deal revealed aims to save €450m (£353m) a year following the merger.

The firms said it was too early to gauge the impact on jobs, but added there would be "operational and administrative restructuring" and the potential for savings where there is duplication.

The groups also said the deal would "bring together" the might of London as one of the world's biggest financial centres and Frankfurt, the home of the European Central Bank with access to Europe's largest economy.

Xavier Rolet, chief executive of London Stock Exchange Group, said: "We are creating an industry-defining combination."

Carsten Kengeter, chief executive of Deutsche Borse, added: "It is the logical evolution."

Belfast Telegraph

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