NYSE and Deutsche Boerse start last-ditch bid to save $9bn tie-up

THE CHIEF executive of NYSE Euronext has pledged to fight the “serious flaws” in the argument of the European regulator, which is set to block their $9bn (£5.87bn) merger with Deutsche Boerse.

Duncan Niederauer used a video to staff to pledge that he and Deutsche Boerse boss Reto Francioni would continue to press their case after it emerged that European anti-trust chief Joaquín Almunia was set to veto the deal unless the two firms agreed to sell one of their derivatives businesses.

Deutsche Boerse and NYSE now plan to bypass the antitrust ruling and appeal directly to the so-called college of 27 commissioners, who are expected to meet early next month.

Analysts said they face an uphill task. Arnaud Gilbat at UBS said: “[They] have rarely voted against the case team’s recommendation, so the probability of the deal going through now drops to 20 per cent.”

Niederauer and Francioni will also lobby politicians at the World Economic Forum in Davos this month.

NYSE and Deutsche say they have not received a formal decision from the European Commission and declined to comment further yesterday. If the deal to create the world’s largest exchange group collapses it would provide a boost to the London Stock Exchange.