ICE boss attacks LSEG management; rules out counterbid

The ICE chief said there was "disappointing" interaction with LSEG management over potential merger talks.

Jeff Sprecher, CEO and chairman of IntercontinentalExchange (ICE), has slammed the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) chairman and CEO for refusing to hold potential merger talks.

The Atlanta-based exchange group announced on Wednesday it will not offer a counterbid for the LSEG following months of consideration.

During the group’s earnings call, Sprecher revealed members of the ICE board and its advisers had over the last year unsuccessfully attempted to arrange meetings through the chairman of the LSE to discuss potential merger ideas.

“Following our public expression in March of interest under the UK takeover code, the LSE chairman and CEO did not engage with ICE,” says Sprecher.

“The disappointing level of engagement with the LSE ultimately did not allow us to make a complete determination of the integration benefits and related risks that ICE requires to support a bid.

“Because we were unable to establish to our satisfaction a financial model, risk undertaking and integration plan… we are turning to our focus to other opportunities to build on our track record of growth.”

Last month the LSEG agreed to a £21 billion merger with Frankfurt-based Deutsche Boerse. Since the announcement, Xavier Rolet, CEO of LSEG, has publically criticised ICE and how it deals with acquired companies.

Immediately following the announcement from ICE, the share price in the LSEG fell over 7%, however it has somewhat bounced back.

ICE reported first quarter revenues of $1.2 billion, of which almost half came from clearing and transaction revenues.

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