No End In Sight: NASDAQ Bid For NYSE Could Run Until April 2012

NASDAQ OMX and IntercontinentalExchange (ICE) have plans in place to pursue a takeover of the NYSE for the next 12 months.

That’s according to NASDAQ chief executive Robert Greifeld, who revealed new details about the bid on a conference call yesterday.

‘We are prepared to pursue a plan that would take us to April 2012,’ Greifeld commented on the call, which followed the release of NASDAQ’s first quarter results.

‘But I would say that we see that as a low probability and again I harken back to my comments: this NYSE organisation is certainly keenly aware of shareholder rights.’

Greifeld hopes NYSE shareholders will pressurize the target’s board into meeting with NASDAQ and ICE. So far, NYSE has refused to sit down with the bidders to discuss their offer.

‘We are keenly aware we’re uninvited, but that has the ability to change,’ Greifeld continued. ‘As we put things on the table that obviously are attractive to shareholders, they also will be attractive to the NYSE board.’

NASDAQ and ICE sought to win over NYSE shareholders to their proposal earlier this week by adding a $350 mn ‘reverse termination fee’ to their existing cash and shares offer.

The bidders say the fee ‘demonstrates our confidence’ in winning approval from US regulators for a takeover of the Big Board.

NYSE’s board continues to favour an all-share merger with Deutsche Börse, which the two sides announced back in February.