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Regulatory panel clears NYSE's bid for Euronext

A group of European monitors backs the deal despite concern that U.S. rules will affect non-U.S. companies.

December 06, 2006|From the Associated Press

The New York Stock Exchange cleared another hurdle Tuesday in its acquisition of Euronext, as a panel of European regulatory officials recommended approval of the $13.7-billion combination.

The committee of officials from the French, Dutch, Belgian, Portuguese and British market watchdogs, which met in Paris, said it would raise no objection to Euronext's acquisition by NYSE Group Inc., the New York exchange's parent company.

The news sent NYSE Group shares climbing $1.55, or 1.6%, to $97.60. Euronext's stock price rose 2.3%.

Euronext's full college of regulators, drawn from the five market authorities, still has to approve the cash-and-stock deal but will probably follow the panel's recommendation.

In a letter to Euronext, the regulatory panel said it would not ask for additional measures despite seeing some risk that U.S. regulations could end up having an "extraterritorial" effect on European markets as a result of the deal, which was announced in June.

"It is impossible to be absolutely certain that future American legislation or regulation cannot, under any circumstances, have an impact on Euronext" or on companies listed on its markets, the letter said.

Tougher U.S. accounting rules are understood to have limited new listings in New York, and supporters of a bid for Euronext by Germany's Deutsche Boerse had argued that the trans-Atlantic combination could eventually impose U.S. regulations in Europe.

Deutsche Boerse withdrew its offer Nov. 15, leaving NYSE's bid as the only deal on the table.

Euronext shareholders are to vote on the proposal Dec. 19, with NYSE holders set to vote the following day.

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