Nasdaq, ICE line up funds for rival bid for NYSE

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 19, 2011 8:59 AM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nasdaq OMX Group and Intercontinental Exchange Inc said on Tuesday they have lined up commitments to fund their proposed takeover of the New York Stock Exchange's parent company and have offered to pay a reverse breakup fee if a deal fails to go through.

Nasdaq Chief Executive Robert Greifeld and ICE CEO Jeffrey Sprecher, who faulted NYSE's board for rebuffing their offer last week without meeting them, said in a joint statement that they hope the board will engage in talks now.

Nasdaq and ICE made an unsolicited $11.3 billion bid on April 1 for NYSE Euronext, which NYSE's board unanimously rejected in favor of an earlier, friendly merger agreement with Germany's Deutsche Boerse AG. That deal, proposed in February, is valued at $10.2 billion.

Nasdaq and ICE said they have lined up commitments for financing of $3.8 billion from leading lenders and also offered to pay NYSE $350 million if the deal fails to get through anti-trust scrutiny.

Sources had told Reuters on Sunday that NYSE's board would likely demand a massive fee to guarantee that Nasdaq's bid offer would pass antitrust regulatory muster, before the NYSE would be willing to engage in deal talks.

Representatives for NYSE Euronext in Paris and Deutsche Boerse declined to comment.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba, editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Dave Zimmerman)