Nasdaq OMX and the IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) have withdrawn their bid for fellow market operator NYSE Euronext, following discussions with the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice.
“We took the decision to withdraw our offer when it became clear that we would not be successful in securing regulatory approval for our proposal despite offering a variety of substantial remedies,” said Nasdaq OMX CEO Bob Greifeld. “We saw a unique opportunity to create more value for stockholders and strengthen the US as a centre for capital formation amid an ongoing shift of these vital activities and jobs outside of our country.”
The antitrust concerns are likely to relate to the monopolistic position that a combined Nasdaq OMX/NYSE Euronext would have had in US listings.
“We have said from the beginning that NYSE Euronext shareholders should not be forced to vote on their combination with Deutsche Börse while antitrust concerns continued to exist in both the US and the EU,” added Greifeld. “While we are surprised and disappointed in the Antitrust Division’s conclusion, some of the uncertainty, at least as it relates to our joint proposal, has been resolved.”
Nasdaq OMX and ICE first made their proposal last month following Germany's Deutsche Börse agreed a deal NYSE Euronext's board on 15 February.
Following the rejection of two proposals by Nasdaq OMX/ICE by the board of NYSE Euronext, the two exchanges were beginning to take their offer directly to NYSE shareholders.
The initial Nasdaq OMX/ICE bid was for US$11.3 billion, represented a 19% premium over the US$9.7 billion bid proposed by Deutsche Börse. The renewed offer valued NYSE Euronext 21% higher than the Deutsche Börse bid, but was again rejected on the grounds that the offer did not provide compelling value and had an unacceptable execution risk.
A statement from NYSE Euronext acknowledging the withdrawal of the Nasdaq OMX/ICE bid reaffirmed its commitment for the Deutsche Börse deal.
“As we have consistently maintained, the combination with Deutsche Börse creates the world's premier exchange group – a geographically diverse business across multiple asset classes that will create compelling long-term value for our shareholders. We look forward to continuing to share this vision with shareholders and other stakeholders as we move toward our vote on 7 July,” said Duncan Niederauer, CEO, NYSE Euronext.