TCI Fund Bails On Euronext

Jan 12 2007 | 12:18pm ET

London-based hedge fund The Children’s Investment Fund has begun slashing its stake in pan-European exchange operator Euronext as the latter moves closer to its day at the altar with the New York Stock Exchange.

According to France’s Autorité des Marchés Financiers, TCI sold €134 million ($175 million) worth of Euronext stock between Tuesday and yesterday, trimming its stake from 9.2% to 8%. According to Reuters, investors expect TCI to cut its Euronext holding even further.

TCI was a long-standing advocate of a merger between Euronext and Germany’s Deutsche Börse, and led the successful ouster of Deutsche Börse CEO Werner Seifert, who sought to buy the London Stock Exchange. But the merger between the NYSE Group and Euronext is now all but a foregone conclusion.

Last month, more than 98% of Euronext shareholders voting at a general meeting approved the tie-up, and yesterday the Euronext College of Regulators, including authorities in France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and the U.K., gave its approval. The merger still requires the approval of the Dutch government, as Euronext, which operates exchanges in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Lisbon and London, is incorporated in the Netherlands.

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