FRANKFURT -- Germany's Deutsche Boerse AG offered a concession in its battle with the New York Stock Exchange to take over European stock-market operator Euronext, saying yesterday that Euronext chief executive Jean-Francois Theodore initially could become sole boss of the merged entity.
Deutsche Boerse had previously proposed that Theodore initially would share the top job with its own chief Reto Francioni, who would then take over as sole leader.
``I would like to confirm . . . that in our last letter a few days ago, in consultation with Dr. Reto Francioni, I suggested that Jean-Francois Theodore, under certain criteria, could become sole CEO up until the AGM [annual general meeting] of 2008," Kurt Viermetz, Deutsche Boerse's supervisory board chairman, told shareholders at the company's annual meeting.
Euronext, which runs the Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, and Lisbon exchanges, is at the center of the current round of stock market consolidation after the Nasdaq Stock Market Inc. acquired 25 percent of the London Stock Exchange PLC. It has said it currently favors the offer from the New York Stock Exchange.
The NYSE's cash-and-stock offer was worth around $10 billion at closing prices Tuesday. Analysts have estimated Deutsche Boerse's bid to be worth around $11 billion.
But the NYSE bid contains more cash than the Deutsche Boerse deal, and the Deutsche Boerse proposal requires the combined company to carry more debt. Both bidders have played up the strategic benefits and cost savings of their plans. A spokesman for the NYSE declined to comment.