Deutsche Boerse gets shareholder approval for LSE deal

The plaque of the Deutsche Boerse AG is pictured at the entrance of the Frankfurt stock exchange February 1, 2012. REUTERS/Alex Domanski/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Boerse DB1Gn.DE has won the necessary backing from its shareholders for the planned merger with the London Stock Exchange Group LSE.L, with the German exchange operator reporting a 60.35 percent approval rate on Tuesday ahead of the 2200 GMT deadline.

Deutsche Boerse had asked its shareholders to back the $27 billion merger and earlier this month lowered the acceptance threshold to 60 percent from an earlier 75 percent of its shares. It also extended the acceptance period to July 26.

It is common for investors to tender their shares only shortly before the deadline is reached.

After shareholders’ approval crossed the 50 percent threshold, many index funds were able to tender their shares, as it is common for their internal guidelines to demand they act only once that level has been reached.

While Deutsche Boerse as well as LSE have got the necessary shareholder backing now, it remains unclear whether the deal will get approval from financial regulators in Germany and Britain, along with European Union antitrust authorities.

German markets regulator BaFin last month said it was hard to see how the head office of the merged group could be in London given that Britain was leaving the European Union.

Portugal and Belgium have asked Europe’s anti-trust chief to act to prevent the merged group becoming so dominant that it would make access to finance more difficult.

Terms of the deal cannot be changed until the merger closes around the end of June next year. But Deutsche Boerse and LSE officials have signaled they are willing to do whatever it takes to get the green light from regulators.

Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Maria Sheahan