Euronext reignites merger talks with Deutsche Börse

Euronext reignites merger talks with Deutsche Börse

Pan-European exchange operator Euronext says it will re-open talks with Germany's Deutsche Börse in an effort to bridge the strategic differences which scotched previous merger negotiations between the two.

Despite receiving approval from the UK's competition authorities to pursue a take-over of the London Stock Exchange, Euronext says the recent bid by New York's Nasdaq for the LSE has altered the playing field.

Nasdaq's entry into the European exchange consolidation market has forced the LSE share price to record highs, and lessened the prospect of a take-over attempt by Euronext.

Earlier talks between Euronext and Deutsche Börse over a potential merger broke down because of differences of opinion over the handling of management, ownership and technology issues of a combined group. The German exchange has since reiterated its preference for a merger with Euronext and intimated that it is prepared to reconsider its vertical business model to push through a deal.

In a statement issued with its financial results today, Euronext says it has taken note of the conciliatory noises emanating from Frankfurt. "While there are differences between the respective business models and views, Euronext welcomes the invitation to discuss these issues and intends to work constructively with Deutsche Börse to try to find creative solutions to bridge the gaps."

Deutsche Börse welcomed the move, saying it is "looking forward to enter into concrete negotiations with Euronext management on realising a combination of the two groups on the basis of a merger of partners with a view to create a global market leader in the industry".

The latest news comes on the back of a strong set of year-end figures for Euronext, with profit soaring by 61.5% to EUR241.8 million from EUR149.7 million in 2004.

Full results statement:Download the document now 653.5 kb (Adobe Acrobat Document)

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