NYSE Euronext rejects improved Nasdaq-ICE merger bid

NYSE Euronext’s board of directors has swiftly rejected a sweetened merger bid proposed by Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange.

The $11.5bn (£7bn) bid tops NYSE Euronext’s $9.5bn merger already under way with German exchange Deutsche Boerse but was rejected out of hand by the NYSE Euronext Board.

On Tuesday Nasdaq-ICE submitted a revised bid offering a $350m break fee if US regulators failed to approve the merger, and said it had $3.8bn of bank facilities on hand to pay shareholders the cash element of its bid offer immediately.

The NYSE Euronext board has now rejected this sweetened offer, as its chairman Jan-Michiel Hessels said it had “concluded that this proposal is substantially the same as what was previously rejected.”

“Consequently, our view has not changed. This proposal does not provide compelling value, has unacceptable execution risk and is therefore not in the best interests of NYSE Euronext shareholders,” he said.

Hessels said the NYSE Euronext board was “intensely focused on shareholder value” and the Deutsche Boerse deal, which gives the exchange access to the European market, would offer investors “substantially” more value.

His language is strikingly similar to the first rejection.

BNP Paribas, Goldman, Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Perella Weinberg are advising NYSE Euronext.