He doesn’t anticipate any antitrust issues on the ICE end of the deal and added that he already has some experience with British regulators (ICE purchased the former International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), now part of ICE Europe. “This [merger proposal] is pretty clean and pretty self evident that it will increase competition, particularly vs. the other one on the table.”
Neither would talk specifics about potential layoffs at NYSE, but both said that, viewed more broadly, it would be a net benefit for job growth. Greifeld said the bid if accepted would “ensure New York is a financial center.” In another shot at the DB proposal, he said there would be a single headquarters in New York, unlike the proposed dual-headquarters in New York and Frankfurt.
Sprecher said, “Job creation is facilitated by strong capital markets. The U.S. is going the wrong way, there is a bigger issue here and that is can the U.S. bring back this fragmented system that we have in place so that we can bring confidence back to the equity markets?” Further, he said it would create competition in the clearing space in Europe.
Additionally, Greifeld and Sprecher pointed out that if NYSE accepts the joint bid, it would involve two United States companies and two United Kingdom companies, or two equity platforms and two derivatives platforms with central clearing.
An obvious hurdle to the joint bid is the high break-up fee in the DB-NYSE proposal of $334 million. While Greifeld said the two companies had talked about who would pay for what, he did not say who would be paying the “generous gift to Deutsche Börse.”
Throughout the call, Greifeld and Sprecher made it clear they had not been in talks with the board at NYSE Euronext and that would be the next step in the bid.
In response to the proposal, the management board at Deutsche Börse said in a statement, “The Management of Deutsche Börse AG continues to strongly believe that the envisaged merger of Deutsche Börse AG and NYSE Euronext is the best possible combination for both shareholder groups and the stakeholders of the companies.”