iX to seek full merger with Nasdaq

iX to seek full merger with Nasdaq

The London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Borse are considering a full merger with Nasdaq to create a global exchange. The ambitious objective is outlined in information documents published today which provide shareholders with details of the proposed LSE/Deutsche Borse merger to create iX-international exchanges.

The documents outline the goals and strategy of the new company, benefits of the merger for shareholders and customers, as well as the technology to be used. Shareholders will vote on the proposed merger on 14 September at extraordinary general meetings of the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Börse.

Commenting, Don Cruickshank, chairman designate of iX, says: "IX-international exchanges will be Europe's largest equities market and the world's leading derivatives exchange, with the financial strength to develop a substantial information and e-commerce business."

IX intends to develop a pan-European blue-chip market under the UK regulatory regime and a pan-European high-growth market under the German regulatory regime.

The document released today says the ultimate aim is "to form a long-term, substantive relationship on a global basis with Nasdaq". Work is currently in hand on a joint venture agreement to provide an intermediate coalition. "The parties also intend to take substantial cross-shareholdings in each other and will work together thereafter to explore a full merger of interests to create a global exchange," states the document.

The stock exchanges of Milan and Madrid have also indicated that they will negotiate with iX-international exchanges to become part of the group following the merger.

Technology for iX will be provided by Deutsche Borse's existing IT subsidiary Deutsche Borse Systems and will be based on an upgrade of the Xetra platform. The migration of all trading to this platform should be completed by December 2001, say the exchanges.

IX is to set aside a sum of £8 million to be used to make a cash payment of approximately £30,000 to each existing customer of the London Stock Exchange's trading services as a contribution to the cost of migrating from the existing infrastructure.

Cruickshank says shareholders are expected to benefit from operating cost synergies of approximately £50 million per annum from the year commencing 1 January 2002.

Over the next few weeks there will be a series of visits with shareholders and customers of the London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Borse. Extraordinary General Meetings will be held on 14 September in London and Frankfurt at which shareholders will vote on the merger proposal. For shareholders in the London Stock Exchange, an off-market matched bargain dealing facility in the Exchange's shares will be offered by Cazenove & Co from 24 July 2000.

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