NYSE snubs Nasdaq-ICE bid, sticks with Deutsche Boerse

NYSE Euronext chose its deal with Deutsche Boerse AG over a higher, rival takeover offer from Nasdaq OMX Group and IntercontinentalExchange Inc, dealing the latest blow in what could be a drawn-out bidding process.

NYSE Euronext’s directors found the $11.3 billion (6.8 billion pounds) bid from Nasdaq and ICE “strategically unattractive, with unacceptable execution risk”, the exchange operator said in a statement on Sunday.

The parent of the New York Stock Exchange said the friendly, $10.2 billion deal with Germany’s Deutsche Boerse announced in February is in shareholders’ long-term interest, and “significantly more likely” to be completed. A merger would create the world’s biggest exchange operator.

It is unclear how Nasdaq and ICE will respond to the rejection, and whether they might submit a new bid or take their earlier offer directly to NYSE Euronext shareholders.

Representatives of Nasdaq and ICE did not immediately return calls and e-mails seeking comment.

Their bid called for Nasdaq to buy stock exchanges in New York, Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon and Paris, as well as U.S. options platforms and technology, while Atlanta-based ICE would buy NYSE Euronext’s London-based Liffe interest-rate business.