Hedge Funds Win Again In Deutsche Börse Battle

Oct 20 2008 | 9:47am ET

For the second time in three years, a pair of activist hedge funds have won the ouster of the chairman of Deutsche Börse.

The German stock exchange operator said yesterday that Kurt Viermetz will leave its board on Dec. 8, to much cheering from Atticus Capital and The Children’s Investment Fund, which had been pushing for his removal for weeks, as the firm’s stock has shed more than half its value this year. The Börse had earlier rejected a TCI demand for an extraordinary meeting to remove Viermetz.

Atticus said Viermetz’s departure was in the best interests of Börse shareholders, adding that it looks forward “to working closely with the supervisory board to find a replacement for Mr. Viermetz.”

TCI did not immediately comment on Viermetz’s resignation.

The 69-year-old Viermetz, who said in a statement that he planned to retire at 70 anyway, took the reins at Deutsche Börse three years ago, after TCI and Atticus won the removal of then-chairman Rolf Breuer, then-CEO Werner Seifert and half of the firm’s supervisory board.

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