NYSE mulling dividend to win shareholders on deal

Markets Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The parent of the New York Stock Exchange is considering several options to win support for its merger with Deutsche Boerse AG <DB1Gn.DE>, including a special dividend that would be paid to its shareholders at the closing of the deal, sources familiar with the discussions said on Wednesday.

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Other options include NYSE Euronext <NYX.N> and Deutsche Boerse together buying back shares or paying a dividend after the deal is completed, said one of the sources, who requested anonymity because talks are preliminary.

Further highlighting their desire to fend off an unsolicited bid from Nasdaq OMX Group <NDAQ.O> and IntercontinentalExchange Inc <ICE.N>, NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse have also identified additional cost savings from their planned combination, a third source said.

This month, Nasdaq and ICE bid $11.3 billion to buy and divide the centuries-old NYSE between them. The offer was a 12 percent premium to Deutsche Boerse's acquisition plan, unveiled in February.

NYSE's board dismissed the counteroffer on Sunday as too risky and contrary to the company's strategy, though NYSE shareholders will likely have to decide between the competing offers.

Executives from all four exchange operators have met with shareholders to press their respective cases in the last few days. The options being considered by NYSE Euronext and Deutsche Boerse are in part based on those meetings, one source said.

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While NYSE and Deutsche Boerse currently pay dividends, Nasdaq and ICE do not.

(Reporting by Paritosh Bansal and Jonathan Spicer; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)