Levene quits board of Deutsche Börse

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The Independent Online

Lord Levene resigned from Deutsche Börse's supervisory board yesterday in the latest fall-out from the German exchange operator's decision not to bid for the London Stock Exchange.

Lord Levene resigned from Deutsche Börse's supervisory board yesterday in the latest fall-out from the German exchange operator's decision not to bid for the London Stock Exchange.

Last month Deutsche Börse dropped its £1.3bn bid for the London market after UK and US hedge funds put pressure on it to pull out and return cash to shareholders instead.

One of the hedge funds, London-based TCI, has also mounted a campaign to oust the chairman of the supervisory board, Rolf Breuer. It has threatened a vote at Deutsche Börse's annual meeting on 25 May. It is thought that TCI's attempts to get rid of Mr Breuer and some other board members and to form a new board are ultimately aimed at ousting Werner Seifert, the chief executive of Deutsche Börse.

Lord Levene, who joined the board last summer, is also the chairman of Lloyd's of London. He wrote to Mr Breuer yesterday saying he had joined the supervisory board "primarily in order to provide advice and assistance in the company's endeavours to buy the London Stock Exchange. Since this is no longer proceeding I believe that my contribution to the board will be much more limited.

"But additionally I agreed to join on the basis that there were four meetings a year. I now find that the demands are considerably greater than this and have reached a level which sadly I cannot meet.''

Mr Breuer regretted the decision.

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