Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext plan to call a combined company DB NYSE Group and will likely sidestep thorny issues of technology in a bid to strike a merger deal by Tuesday, two people close to the negotiations said.
The Frankfurt- and the New York-based exchange operators are edging toward an outline deal to be agreed on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, one source said on Saturday.
The two Europe-based sources said the sides have still not finalized a merger document that can be presented to Deutsche Boerse's board of directors, confirming earlier reports.
A third source familiar with the matter, however, said that no name for the combined company had yet been decided -- underlining the uncertainty remaining over how exactly the world's largest exchange operator would be formed.
Decisions over leadership, including the composition of a combined company's board, have been made, sources said earlier this week.
In their talks, the two sides are hammering out a framework deal which focuses on functions and personalities but key issues, such as over information technology (IT), are likely to be postponed.
How you make the details work later on is a different matter, one of these people said.
Rather than deciding now which technology platform to use for derivatives trading on a group level, the parties are seeking to agree on a person for IT coordination.
This person will later decide whether to use Deutsche Boerse's Eurex or Euronext's Liffe technology, or whether to develop a new platform using staff from both camps.
It is also not yet decided whether the combined group will take the legal form of SE or an NV (the corporate designation) for the Amsterdam-based legal entity, the person said.
Despite the uncertainty, there is quiet optimism the two sides will be able to make an announcement early next week.
Unlike when talks between the two companies were disrupted by a leak in December 2008, negotiations have now reached a much more mature level, and are more likely to bear fruit, a person close to the deal said.
Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext declined to comment.
The two powerhouse exchange operators said on Wednesday they were in advanced talks to merge, just hours after London Stock Exchange unveiled a bid for Canadian market operator TMX Group Inc.
(Reporting by Edward Taylor and Philipp Halstrick; Additional reporting by Anika Ross in Frankfurt and Jonathan Spicer in New York; editing by Patrick Graham and Philip Barbara)