Deutsche Boerse faces fines as prosecutor considers dropping CEO investigation

Accusation against CEO could be dropped, but exchange faces fines instead.

A probe into Deutsche Boerse’s CEO purchase of shares could be dropped if the exchange operator agrees to pay fines of up to €10 million.

Earlier this year, Frankfurt’s public prosecutor announced it was investigating Carsten Kengeter for purchasing 60,000 Deutsche Boerse shares just months before it announced plans to merge with the London Stock Exchange Group.

While the deal fell apart due to demands from competition regulators, it did not lift the shadow of the investigation from Kengeter.

Both Kengeter’s home and office have been raided for evidence of wrongdoing related to the €4.5 million share purchase.

In a short statement, the prosecutor said: “The public prosecutor holds out the prospect to fully terminate proceedings against Mr Kengeter by mutual agreement and without conditions.”

It also notified the exchange it faced a hearing over failure to disclose information in January 2016. It is expected to be issued with fines of €5.5 million and €5 million for its failings, though Deutsche Boerse said the allegations are unfounded and it would review the hearing notification.

Kengeter has always maintained his innocence, stating he bought the shares as it was a requirement from the board that he be invested in the company and hold the shares until at least 2019 and was not related to the merger deal.