Shareholders of NYSE Group Inc. approved the $14.6 billion
purchase of Euronext NV, paving the way for the creation of the first
trans-Atlantic securities market.
An estimated 99.7 percent of the NYSE Group shares voted were cast in favor
of the transaction, the exchange said in a statement yesterday. Euronext
shareholders on Tuesday backed the deal, scheduled to close in three months
after European regulators and the Dutch Finance Ministry gave conditional
NYSE Euronext will list companies with a total market value of $25.8
trillion, ranging from General Electric Co. to Sanofi-Aventis SA, and handle
about $100 billion in equity transactions a day along with options and futures.
The new company plans to increase profits by cutting $275 million in costs,
primarily through combining computer systems.
"The cultural aspects are as important as the technology integration," said
Philip Panaro, president of Manhattan-based IM2 Inc., a financial-services
consultant that advised Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Co. on acquisitions.
"Announcing the acquisition is easy, completing the transaction is easy, but
doing the integration is hard, and sustaining shareholder value is harder."
The votes were a victory for NYSE Group chief executive John Thain and his
Euronext counterpart, Jean-Francois Theodore. They overcame a rival bid and
criticism from policy makers to prevail with their cash and stock deal. More
than 75 percent of eligible shares were voted yesterday during a meeting at the
New York Stock Exchange's former luncheon club. Final results will be made
available today, the company said.
NYSE Group's purchase of Euronext is the largest among almost $50 billion
of proposed mergers by exchanges worldwide in the last two years, according to
data compiled by Bloomberg News. Exchange operators are seeking combinations to
meet demand for low-cost electronic trading of securities across the world's
The pace of consolidation has spurred Thain to consider expanding into
Asia, where many of the markets are still closely held or state-owned.
some type of transaction," Thain said yesterday. "The structure is much more
likely to be minority shareholding positions, cross-holding positions or joint