NYSE Euronext shareholders approve merger with Deusche Boerse

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It appears NYSE Euronext shareholders have approved the long-talked about merger with Germany's primary securities exchange, the Deutsche Boerse. The planned merger, which still requires approval by the Deutsche Boerse shareholders, as well as U.S. and European Commission regulators, would create the largest exchange in the world.

According to Reuters, 96% of approximately two-thirds of the NYSE Euronext shareholders who have so far voted today have voted "yes" to approve the $9.6 billion merger. The final tally isn't expected until tomorrow.

Deutsche Boerse shareholders have until next Wednesday to take a vote and most observers expect it to pass, which would require a 75 percent approval vote. Two main hurdles, howerver, are the U.S. Justice Department and the European Commission's antitrust reviews and they could take several months to resolve.

Both exchanges have been promoting this as a "merger of equals." NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer would run the combined exchange, but the German side, however, will control 10 of 17 board positions and its shareholders will own roughly 60 percent of a still to-be-named holding company that will be based in the Netherlands.

Niederauer has been quoted as saying he expects the deal to close by the end of this year.

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