The people who run the London Stock Exchange have been hearing from Deutsche Börse and Euronext, which both want to merge with the LSE. In preliminary reports both bidders gave broad outlines of their takeover proposals. Meanwhile Deutsche Börse’s PR effort continued with a reception at London’s Tate Modern art gallery for the city’s financial community. One attendee, investment fund manager Heiko Thieme, was unhappy Deutsche Börse’s boss Werner Siefert said nothing about the takeover when he addressed partygoers.Thieme complained: “Frankly I’m somewhat disappointed because I think Mr Siefert is a very capable person and even though his lawyers told him not to say anything, people I talked to they all came with expectation of hearing something. Just to be invited to watch the Tate Modern is very nice and generous, but I think our time is also very valuable and we would have liked to have heard a little more.” Reportedly Deutsche Börse will present an official and higher bid at the end of January. If Deutsche Börse wins the battle it will become by far Europe’s largest in terms of market capitalisation, but any merger will have to be approved by regulators and that could make the difference if both the German exchange group and Euronext come up with similar cash bids. Euronext, the result of mergers among the Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon and Paris exchanges, remains the narrow favourite to prevail among the online bookies. One factor that the London Stock Exchange will have to take into consideration is whether Euronext is a better fit in creating business synergies.
London Stock Exchange bidders present their proposals