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Deutsche Börse sees M&A opportunities after London deal blocked

Deutsche Börse AG sees M&A opportunities outside of the company's core exchange business, CFO Gregor Pottmeyer said during a June 7 presentation at the Sandler O'Neill Brokerage & Exchange Conference in New York.

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Gregor Pottmeyer

Source: Deutsche Börse

Pottmeyer said one area his company is concentrating on is deals in the index data and analytics space. He added that Deutsche Börse could also pursue transactions in the foreign exchange and commodities areas, and noted his company has invested in that space recently. In March, Deutsche Börse announced it agreed to purchase Nodal Exchange Holdings LLC, a U.S. regulated future exchange that offers electricity and natural gas contracts to hedge against price risks.

Pottmeyer said his company's M&A strategy is to find deals that will not face as much political or regulatory scrutiny as mergers in its core exchange business. Deutsche Börse experienced that scrutiny firsthand when its proposed merger with London Stock Exchange Group Plc was blocked by the European Commission. The European regulator in 2012 also vetoed a planned tie-up between the German exchange and what was then NYSE Euronext.

Pottmeyer also noted that uncertainty stemming from Brexit also makes exchange consolidation in Europe more challenging.

He added that the company is not dependent on M&A for growth, but it would remain opportunistic.

"Our focus is on our stand-alone strategy," he said. "But we are also open for these kind of M&A opportunities."

Deutsche Börse isn't the only exchange looking at opportunities outside its core business. The London Stock Exchange too has moved to expand its interests in the index and analytics sector with the announcement last month that it would buy Citigroup Inc.'s Yield Book.