An activist hedge fund shareholder of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) has given the Deutsche Boerse merger its blessing.
The backing from the Children’s Investment Fund (TCI) founder Christopher Hohn comes after the investor played a prominent role in derailing a Deutsche Boerse takeover of the LSE in 2005.
However, TCI has now become the first LSE shareholder to publicly back the proposed £21bn merger. The fund owns a 4.25 per cent stake in the stock exchange.
“We support it,” Hohn told German magazine Der Spiegel. “The management of the new company will be more strongly leaning towards the Anglo-Saxon model.”
In 2005, as a shareholder of Deutsche Boerse, TCI helped force the German company away from an offer to buy LSE, with its chairman and chief executive forced out in the process.
LSE shareholders are set to be asked for approval on the merger in July.
Elsewhere, Morgan Stanley analyst Anil Sharma wrote in a note at the end of last week that the hurdles facing the deal are “not insurmountable”.
Others analysts have been far from certain the deal will go through. Exane BNP Paribas said there is more than half a chance the deal will be blocked, while Credit Suisse rates its chances of securing competition approval at 50-50.
As well as facing opposition from MPs in the UK and Germany, the deal has also been condemned by politicians in France.