The chief executive officers of NYSE Euronext (NYSE) and Deutsche Boerse AG (DB1) will meet in New York tomorrow to discuss their merger after European Commission negotiators signaled opposition, people familiar with the situation said.
Reto Francioni, CEO of Frankfurt-based Deutsche Boerse, is flying to the U.S. with senior executives to meet NYSE’s Duncan Niederauer, said two people who declined to be identified as the meeting is private. They will discuss steps that can be taken to persuade regulators to clear their 11-month-old plan to merge and create the world’s biggest exchange company.
James Dunseath, a spokesman for NYSE in London, and Frank Herkenhoff, a Deutsche Boerse spokesman, declined to comment.
Francioni and Niederauer will address opposition in the EC and among regulators in the German state of Hesse, as well as the integration they have been working on since announcing the deal in February, the people said.
NYSE and Deutsche Boerse (DB1), fighting to salvage the combination, have been trying to convince European regulators that merging won’t stifle competition in derivatives and clearing. EC officials told the companies at a Dec. 21 meeting in Brussels that concessions they offered didn’t go far enough, two people familiar with the talks said at the time. The EC team examining the case indicated they are likely to recommend prohibiting the deal, two people said at the time. The advice is non-binding.
The companies still have room to maneuver. Before deciding whether to approve or block a deal, the European Commission must consult competition agencies from the European Union’s 27 member nations. Commissioners from each EU country must also vote on a decision and companies can appeal a merger ban at the EU courts. Companies, including Oracle Corp., have managed to complete deals to which the European Commission had initial objections.