Nasdaq and ICE going straight to NYSE shareholders

By Hibah Yousuf, staff reporter


NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Nasdaq OMX and IntercontinentalExchange said Monday that they plan to take their $11.3 billion offer for NYSE Euronext directly to the shareholders.

The NYSE has twice rejected proposals by the rival exchanges, reiterating its plans to merge with Germany's Deutsche Boerse in a deal valued at $10 billion.

Last month, Nasdaq and ICE sweetened their offer with a $350 million 'reverse termination fee,' but the NYSE still wasn't interested.

Monday's move came after NYSE Euronext's stockholders reportedly bombarded the exchange's top executives at last week's annual shareholder meeting with angry questions about its rejection of the rival takeover bid.

"While we are hopeful that the Board will decide to consider this transaction, we are taking our proposal to NYSE Euronext stockholders ... to provide the opportunity to consider our proposal directly," said ICE Chief Executive Jeffrey Sprecher in a statement.

Nasdaq OMX CEO Bob Greifeld reiterated the sentiment, adding that he hopes the NYSE Euronext board is convinced of the "seriousness of our intentions."

NYSE Euronext's (NYX, Fortune 500) stock rose more than 1% in afternoon trading, while shares of Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ) slipped 0.2% and shares of ICE (ICE) fell 1.8%.

In a statement released after the closing bell Monday, NYSE Euronext said that the offer from Nasdaq and ICE was "the same as previously proposed" and that the bid had already been "unanimously rejected."

Last month, NYSE chairman Jan-Michiel Hessels said the "proposal does not provide compelling value, has unacceptable execution risk and is therefore not in the best interests of NYSE Euronext shareholders." To top of page

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