D. Boerse labour rep warns of losing control to NYSE

By @ibtimes on

Deutsche Boerse risks ceding control to NYSE Euronext , a supervisory board member at the German exchange said on Monday.

Johannes Witt, a labor representative, said remarks made on Sunday by U.S. Senator Charles Schumer that a tie-up would give NYSE managerial control served as a warning.

Just like in the Euronext deal, it will be a matter of time before the Americans take control. We should be wary of this. It won't be possible to undo the deal once it is signed, Witt said.

In 2006, NYSE and Euronext combined, initially selling the deal as a merger of equals, but within a short period of time managerial control gravitated to New York.

Negotiations over a name, and where to locate various operations across the two continents, highlight some of the difficulties in bringing together companies that are both operationally complicated and symbols of national pride.

Frankfurt-based Deutsche Boerse last week announced it was in talks to combine with NYSE Euronext. The larger German company would have a 60 percent stake, but NYSE Euronext head Duncan Niederauer is due to take the CEO role.

OUTRAGE

The two sides are hammering out a framework deal which focuses on functions and personalities but key issues, such as information technology (IT), are likely to be postponed.

Last week Witt told Reuters he was outraged that key members of the exchange operator's board were not consulted about merger plans [ID:nWEB8069]

The financial regulator at the German regional state of Hesse, home to Deutsche Boerse, reiterated that it would seek to preserve the interests of Frankfurt as a financial center, when reviewing the plans.

The regulator, part of the state's financial ministry, bestows the license to operate a stock exchange in the state of Hesse and must approve any merger agreement.

A spokesman for the German Finance Ministry said the role of the national government in the merger would be limited.

A deal is set to be presented to the boards of NYSE Euronext and to the supervisory board of Deutsche Boerse on Tuesday, people familiar with the matter said.

Deutsche Boerse will publish fourth-quarter results on Tuesday.

In Germany, the deal is being sold as a German takeover of the NYSE or as a merger of equals. Any suggestion that the NYSE management team will be in control counters that public stance and could create an obstacle to the deal getting done.

Deutsche Boerse declined to comment.

France has also voiced concern. Economy Minister Christine Lagarde last week said she was concerned about the deal's impact on the security and stability of financial markets.

She wants to see Paris, formerly home of Euronext, play a key role in the combined company.

(Additional reporting by Noah Barkin and Brian Rohan in Berlin; Editing by Erica Billingham and Alexander Smith)

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