Deutsche Boerse, NYSE sweeten deal terms

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Deutsche Boerse AG and NYSE Euronext on Tuesday unveiled a special dividend as a way of encouraging shareholders to approve a $10.2 billion deal between the New York and Frankfurt-based companies.

Shareholders in a combined company are being offered a one-time dividend of 2 euros per share after the deal closes, the companies said in a joint statement.

Deutsche Boerse shareholders have until July 13 to tender their shares, and shareholders in NYSE Euronext are set to vote on whether or not to create the world’s largest exchange operator on July 7.

Deutsche Boerse’s shareholders are set to control 60 percent of the new company. Deutsche Boerse Chief Executive Reto Francioni will assume the role of chairman while Duncan Niederauer, who is head of NYSE Euronext, will become chief executive of the combined company.

“The ability to provide a special dividend underscores the strength of the combined group,” Niederauer said.

The dividend was offered despite the fact that rivals Nasdaq OMX Group and IntercontinentalExchange dropped a competing offer.

Earlier this year Francioni had brushed aside suggestions the company was poised to sweeten its offer.

“We have a signed merger agreement … which was fully negotiated over a long period of time,” Francioni told analysts at the time. “We stand by the terms of the agreement and we are working toward a timely closing.”

In a separate move announced on Tuesday, Deutsche Boerse said it had struck a deal with Switzerland’s SIX Group to take full control of derivatives arm Eurex, one of the main profit drivers at Deutsche Boerse.