London Stock Exchange shareholders vote to approve Deutsche Borse merger
Shareholders in the London Stock Exchange (LSE) have voted overwhelmingly to approve a proposed £21 billion merger with Germany's Deutsche Borse, despite Britain voting to leave the European Union.
The deal was backed by 99.89% of investors, with LSE saying: "Whether the UK is just European or a member of the EU, the merger will create a globally competitive, industry-defining market infrastructure group at the service of European industry."
The deal's future had been thrown into doubt by the Brexit vote, but shareholder approval will be seen as a major boost for its prospects.
Joachim Faber, chairman of the supervisory board of Deutsche Borse, has previously said that the vote to leave the EU "makes it ever more important to maintain and foster ties between the UK and Europe".
Some of LSE's largest shareholders include Qatar Investment Authority, Blackrock and Invesco.
Deutsche Borse investors can tender their shares until July 12 and the deal still faces regulatory scrutiny in several jurisdictions.
Professor John Colley, of Warwick Business School, said: " Brexit has undoubtedly clouded the future for the stock exchange link-up and raised concerns for employees, regulatory authorities, politicians and LSE shareholders. For shareholders, though, there are still clear benefits.
"LSE shareholders retain a strong position in the EU territories, while Deutsche Borse shareholders benefit from a greater global presence. Deutsche Borse would also be well positioned to provide the various markets that the EU may require to be operated within the Eurozone such as Euro trading. Their link with the LSE will be invaluable in facilitating this transfer of skills, expertise and people."