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NYSE CEO Niederbauer: Rejecting the Takeover Bid by NASDAQ a "Fairly Easy Decision"

April 11, 2011 | About:

New York Stock Exchange Euronext (NYX) CEO and Director Duncan Niederauer spoke with FOX Business Network’s (FBN) Nicole Petallides about the company’s decision to reject the $11.3 billion dollar takeover bid by NASDAQ (NASDAQ:NDAQ) and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE). Niederauer said NYSE board’s decision to reject the bid was “the only decision the board could make and should make.” He went on to say he was “happy to do whatever it took to get the merger right” with Deutsche Börse (DB) because he “thought it was that good a deal whether I was the chairman, CEO or just on the boards. It’s not personal — it’s about long term strategy.”

Excerpts from the interview are below.

On the NYSE board’s decision to reject the NASDAQ takeover bid:

“I think the board made the only decision the board could make and should make. If you think about what we have done here the last few years; we have transformed and repositioned the company, we had a long term strategy, we articulated it, and the merger was very consistent with that strategy. Dismantling the company is completely inconsistent with the strategy so in my mind the board had a fairly easy decision yesterday.”

On how his job would be affected in a deal with Deutsche Börse versus NASDAQ:

“They did not reference any of that on the proposal. You can speculate all you want. I haven’t had a contract while I have had this job. The shareholders were insistent if we did the merger I have a longer term commitment. At one point in the process I was happy to do whatever it took to get the merger right because I thought it was that good a deal whether I was the chairman, CEO, or just on the boards. Anything is ok with me. It’s not personal it’s about long term strategy.”

On criticism from NYX shareholders that he “sold cheap”:

“Selling cheap is kind of an odd concept because the merger agreement isn’t a sale. We didn’t sell our company. DB didn’t sell theirs. We are both contributing businesses to create value in the long run in what we think is a game changer in our industry. Secondly the proposal that we received from the interlopers would suggest we break up the company into pieces dismantle it and sell pieces of it to each of them and we think that is a very difficult transaction to consummate.”

On which deal will preserve jobs:

“There is no question that the NYSE DB deal keeps more jobs not only on the floor but in New York. You can’t deliver the synergies that the other proposals suggest without a substantial amount of job loss.”

On the company’s strategy going forward:

“The board has reaffirmed the merger and we are going full steam ahead to building this global integrated company. We have been doing all the regulatory filings. We are going to be meeting with shareholders this week. So we are going o get out there and we believe the facts will prevail.”

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