On the face of it, a German company is buying an icon of American capitalism.
The reality of Deutsche Boerse AG’s proposed acquisition of the New York Stock Exchange is more complex.
For one thing, two of Deutsche Boerse’s largest shareholders are American.
Also, the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange isn’t entirely American. NYSE Euronext Inc. was formed in a merger between the NYSE and a group of European exchanges in 2007. Euronext itself was created in 2000 from the combination of stock markets in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam.
The proposed merger of Deutsche Boerse and NYSE Euronext, announced Tuesday, would create a worldwide owner of financial markets that would be incorporated in the Netherlands. The new company would have dual headquarters in New York and Frankfurt.
CME Group Inc., owner of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and the Chicago Board of Trade, held Tuesday to its “no comment” stance about reports that it might submit a competing offer.
NYSE Euronext is already global. U.S. stock and derivatives trading contribute only 14.4 percent of its revenue, while 34.6 percent comes from European trading. Similarly, Deutsche Boerse owns the American options exchange International Securities Exchange. Five of its 10 largest shareholders are American, according to FactSet.