Nasdaq bid for NYSE sweetened

US STOCK exchanges Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange raised the heat on NYSE Euronext yesterday, tabling an aggressive revised bid to derail its planned link-up with Deutsche Boerse.

Nasdaq-ICE, whose $11.3bn (£7bn) bid to merge with NYSE Euronext was rejected this month, offered to pay a $350m reverse break fee should US competition authorities veto its bid.

In a bullish letter arguing against NYSE’s reasons for rejecting their bid, the exchanges said they had $3.8bn in committed bank funding ready to pay the cash element of the merger. They added that they were already in talks with US antitrust officials to gain support for a merger that would control 52 per cent of US equity trades.

“This should eliminate any concerns that the NYSE Euronext board has about engaging in discussions with us,” said Nasdaq chief executive Robert Greifeld.

The letter attacked NYSE Euronext’s $9.5bn plan to merge with Deutsche Boerse to create a transatlantic trading platform. It said the Nasdaq/ICE offer would avoid a lengthy EU competition investigation. Nasdaq and ICE’s rival bid offered cash and stock worth $2bn more, leaving NYSE investors reportedly angry when the board dismissed it.

But the Deutsche merger would retain both US and German executives, while a Nasdaq-ICE merger would likely leave the NYSE board without roles in the new entity.

Sources close to Deutsche Boerse told City A.M. it would not raise its offer in response as both exchanges would have to propose the new price to shareholders.

NYSE Euronext’s board said it would review the bid.