Former New York Stock Exchange [NYSE] Chairman Dick Grasso spoke with FBN’s Charlie Gasparino about news out today of a joint bid by NASDAQ (NDAQ) and the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) for the NYSE. Grasso said that the “war is far from over” for who will win the bid for “the world’s greatest brand in financial services.” He went on to predict that Deutsche Boerse (DB1.DE) could counter “with a higher offer for consolidation” forcing “NASDAQ and ICE to move their bid up.” Excerpts from the interview can be found below, courtesy of Fox Business Network.
On the market reaction to the joint bid by NASDAQ and ICE for the NYSE:
“I think what the market reflects today is this is a long way from over. The reality is if you look at the ICE/NASDAQ bid of $42.50 only 3.8 billion of the 11.3 billion subject to financing. Which means to me there is a lot of room for NASDAQ/ ICE to respond if in fact as many would speculate, and I would join them in that speculation, that it’s not over from a Deutsche Boerse standpoint. If DB comes back with a higher offer for consolidation, my guess is NASDAQ and ICE are still sitting on a lot of room to move their bid up.”
On the bid price of $42.50 per share by NASDAQ and ICE for the NYSE:
“There is only one New York Stock Exchange. What would you pay? If you had the opportunity to buy the world’s greatest brand in financial services. A brand that really sits with no peer. You would have to compare NYSE to Disney and Coke and IBM in terms of its brand recognition and global respect. Let’s face it, this war is far from over.”
On current NYSE Chairman Duncan Niederauer:
“I would not at all be critical of Duncan. I think what he was looking at was the opportunity to consolidate with a global name and really extend the NYSE’s reach in a far broader and deeper range of products. I have said previously I absolutely think he did the right thing and I stand by that belief. I think he is in the driver’s seat because he has three exchanges who recognize the inherent value of his institution and they are going to be willing to pay a lot more for it.”
On whether a merger of the NYSE and NASDAQ would be problematic from a regulatory standpoint:
“I think either of the proposed transactions faces significant regulatory review. I would not get overly concerned about the concentration of listings; I would look at where the stocks actually trade.”
On what NASDAQ CEO Bob Greifeld has to fear in this potential deal:
“That he loses. NASDAQ is in play. We heard very little from our friends at the CME. If NASDAQ were to be unsuccessful in this purposed combination you might well see CME step into the business.”
On the international implications of a takeover of the NYSE:
“We have yet to have any discussion about a third entity from the Pac Rim getting involved. I am not saying a third bidder for New York. Let’s assume New York is consolidated with NASDAQ or Deutsche Boerse, what do you do if you are the Hong Kong Stock Exchange?”
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