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London Stock Exchange not impressed with the latest European Commission stipulation for their merger
Exactly one year and four days ago it was announced the London Stock Exchange was in discussions with Deutsche Boerse about a merger, and approximately four hours ago the arrangement appears to have stalled.
There were always going to be hoops to jump through for the LSE and Deutsche Boerse to get this deal over the finishing line, whether it concerned shareholders or investors, the EU referendum outcome, competitors trying to make a counter offer or the EU Commission's stipulations as to what both parties might have to give up in order to get their merger through.
Having agreed to regulators' requests at the beginning of February to sell LCH SA, the LSE's French clearing arm, to Euronext, what might be the nail in the coffin for the deal is today's announcement that regulators have also requested LSE sell their 60% stake in MTS, a fixed income trading platform. This has not been well received, with the LSE stating the latest request is "disproportionate" and "based on the Commission's current position, LSE believes that the commission is unlikely to provide clearance for the merger".
So we appear to have reached the M&A equivalent of a Mexican stand-off; I personally can't see either side moving on this given the immediate reaction of the LSE to the European Commission's latest demand, so this may well end up being another withdrawn deal involving the LSE.
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