NYSE Euronext announced today that in light of the decision by the European Commission to prohibit its proposed combination with Deutsche Boerse, the companies are in discussions to terminate their merger agreement.
NYSE Euronext said it would focus on the successful standalone strategy that has delivered strong growth and diversification of its core businesses and that it would leverage its financial strength to return capital to shareholders. In that regard, NYSE Euronext announced its intent to resume a USD550 million share repurchase program following the termination of the merger agreement and after the release of its fourth quarter and 2011 year-end results on February 10, 2012.
Jan-Michiel Hessels, NYSE Euronext Chairman, says: “Our merger would have created a high standard for transparency, stability and efficiency in the global capital markets, and we proposed significant and tangible remedies designed to address the European Commission’s concerns with the transaction. But as we made clear throughout this process, we would not agree to any concessions that would compromise or undermine the industrial and economic logic of the proposed combination.
“While we are disappointed and strongly disagree with the EU decision, which is based on a fundamentally different understanding of the derivatives market, it is now time to move on and return our sole focus to executing our compelling existing strategy – a strategy we have continued to implement without missing a beat over the last year.
“The strong underlying fundamentals of our core business, the strength and depth of our management team, and our diversified global footprint give us unique competitive advantages to exploit in the rapidly evolving global landscape as we continue to grow our successful franchises and return capital to shareholders.”
Duncan Niederauer, NYSE Euronext Chief Executive Officer. says: “I’m extremely proud of the efforts of the entire NYSE Euronext team over the last year. While effectively advancing our proposed merger on to the final step, we continued to execute our strategy and deliver the commitments we made to our shareholders.
“While we viewed the merger as a way to accelerate our plans, our existing business model was always central to our strategy. Our business had a strong year, giving us the opportunity to return more capital to our shareholders, as evidenced by today’s buy-back announcement.
“We will also take advantage of our financial strength to capture opportunities for growth in derivatives, and through our new initiatives including technology services, NYSE Liffe US/NYPC and post-trade services. And, as always, we will continue the success we have had in optimizing the business through continued cost discipline and operational efficiency.
“In the weeks and months ahead, I look forward to sharing with our investors, employees, customers and partners, the exciting plans we have to continue our growth strategy, build on our reputation as the leading global operator of financial markets and create value for shareholders.
“On behalf of our company, I would like to acknowledge the efforts made by the regulators in our various markets, who worked very hard to accommodate the approval process for our transaction under very tight deadlines.”
Finally, I would like to thank our colleagues at Deutsche Boerse for their shared vision of the value we would have created for our customers, shareholders, and employees, and for the significant efforts they made to see the deal through to approval.”
Following termination of the merger agreement with DB, share repurchases may be executed at the discretion of management in open market or privately negotiated transactions or otherwise, subject to applicable United States and European laws, regulations and approvals, strategic considerations, market conditions and other factors. The USD550 million buy-back is being executed under a USD1.0 billion Board authorisation established in March of 2008.