Exclusive Deutsche Börse Shareholders Narrowly Back LSE Merger

Shareholders of Deutsche Börse on Tuesday narrowly backed a blockbuster merger with London Stock Exchange that would create Europe’s largest stock exchange operator. More than 60 percent of the Frankfurt-based exchange’s investors were required to offer up their shares for the €25-billion ($27 billion) merger to go through. Approval had been widely expected after the exchange said 50 percent already backed the deal two weeks ago. Still, the threshold needed was only barely reached. Deutsche Börse said that 60.35 percent of shareholders had approved the deal by the 5 p.m. deadline local time on Tuesday. The German exchange earlier this month had lowered the threshold from 75 percent to 60 percent and extended the deadline by two weeks until Tuesday in order to convince shareholders. LSE’s shareholders had already backed the deal, but German investors have been reluctant amid skepticism – particularly since Britain’s Brexit vote – that the “merger of equals” is really a good thing for the German exchange. The deal must still be approved by regulators in Germany and Brussels. A particular sore point since Brexit is the question of where the merged holding company should be located. German policymakers are pushing for the headquarters – originally designated to be in London – to be moved to Frankfurt. Picture: Deutsche Börse CEO Carsten Kengeter. Source: Reuters