London Stock Exchange's Xavier Rolet denies Deutsche Boerse merger would see Germans take control - and dismisses potential rival bidder as "slash and burn" company

William Turvill
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New chief executive of the London Stock
Xavier Rolet would stand down from the merged company if the deal goes through (Source: Getty)

London Stock Exchange Group's chief executive has denied the proposed Deutsche Boerse merger would see the Germans "taking over".

Xavier Rolet has also dismissed potential US counter-bidder Intercontinental Exchange as a “slash and burn” organisation.

Rolet described the £21bn merger as the “best deal on the table”.

Read more: City grandees raise red flags over LSE-Deutsche Boerse deal

Last month, after the merger agreement was announced, MPs on the Treasury Select Committee questioned the deal and called for LSE executives to be grilled on the subject. If accepted, the deal would see Deutsche Boerse shareholders own 54.4 per cent of the new company.

Labour MP John Mann said at the time: "This deal might not be in our national interest. Are we handing over control to the Germans? We need to just get up and get them in, and that’s a chance to explore all avenues."

However, no inquiry has been announced, with the committee currently considering what action, if any, it should take.

"I’ve read a lot of frankly inaccurate comments about if the Germans have more than 50 per cent, they are taking over the LSE, and they have control," Rolet told the Sunday Telegraph.

"There are more British shareholders in Deutsche Borse than German investors. The biggest contingent, to the tune of about 45 per cent, from the merged company will be British shareholders.”

Read more: MPs call for LSE "merger of equals" parliamentary scrutiny

On the potential counter-bid for ICE, Rolet said: "I don’t want just anyone, particularly not some 'slash and burn’ type organisation, to come in and kill all of the stuff we’ve done over the last few years."

He added: “It is not a company based in Atlanta... that is going to worry about the financing of European industry... It’s just not going to be part of their strategy.”

Rolet pointed to ICE's ownership of pan-European exchange Euronext, describing it as a “disaster” and saying it had “eviscerated” the platform.

He also said he doubts the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) would be “part of the strategy” for ICE.

Rolet said that LSE's board would consider a “serious proposal". But he questioned ICE's ability to deliver a bid that would appeal to LSE shareholders.

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