Euronext chief woos Furse with alternative to Deutsche Börse bid

Euronext Set out its plan for a merger with the London Stock Exchange yesterday, a day after its rival suitor Deutsche Börse put pressure on the London market to speed up negotiations.

Jean-François Theodore, the head of the Paris-based Euronext, which runs the Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon exchanges, met Clara Furse, his opposite number at the LSE, yesterday. Discussions centred on business fit, integration, governance, regulation and competition, but not price, sources said.

Euronext has yet to come up with a cash value, rumoured to be about 580p a share, after Börse offered 530p a share last month, valuing the London market at £1.3bn. The LSE rejected that indicative offer as too low and cited regulatory concerns, but in effect put itself up for sale by agreeing to further discussions. Börse and Euronext have yet to make formal offers. Neither can afford to lose out in the battle for Europe's biggest stock market.

Talks between the LSE and Euronext are expected to last "weeks and weeks" rather than days, according to sources. Euronext's approach is in marked contrast to that of Werner Seifert, the head of the Frankfurt-based Börse, who is understood to be increasingly impatient with the pace of negotiations. He is thought to have been unhappy with the LSE's decision to suspend the talks over Christmas.

Meetings with Börse and Euronext next week will discuss technology and integration matters, sources said.

The German cartel office, the country's antitrust regulator, said Börse asked it to approve a takeover of the LSE. At the same time, evidence emerged that the German government would oppose a move of Börse's headquarters to London. As a sweetener to the LSE, Börse is offering to manage cash equities and the Eurex derivatives businesses from London.

A spokesman for the German finance ministry said: "We have the crystal clear position that we welcome this [the merger]. We have the remarkable situation that a German company is seeking such an acquisition." But he said the government would want Börse's headquarters to remain in Frankfurt. The ministry denied a report that Hans Eichel, the German finance minister, had interfered in the planned takeover.

Reuters said Börse's works council opposes moving equities and derivatives jobs to London, which it claims would result in 300 job losses in Frankfurt. Mr Seifert has said job losses would be limited to 200 and would occur through natural wastage.

Comments by Chris Tupker, the chairman of Euroclear - the cross-border settlement business owned by its users - added to Börse's discomfort. Without mentioning the German exchange by name, he warned the takeover of the LSE by an exchange that owns securities clearing and settlement houses should put regulators on "red alert".

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: HR Benefits Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum + pro rata: SThree: SThree Group have been well esta...

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager / Financial Services

£30000 - £37000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Established in 1999, a highly r...

Jemma Gent: Year End Accountant

£250-£300 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Are you a qualified accountant with strong exp...

Jemma Gent: Management Accountant

£230 - £260 Day Rate: Jemma Gent: Do you want to stamp your footprint in histo...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower