NYSE makes its play for Euronext

The New York Stock Exchange’s (NYSE) announcement that it has signed a merger agreement with pan-European exchange Euronext was undoubtedly the deal of the month – and arguably the year.

Big enough to rival even DP World’s acquisition of P&O in terms of headlines, the stock exchange merger is proving almost as controversial.

The question still remains whether rival bidder Deutsche Börse will be able to scrape together an offer attractive enough to see the NYSE jilted at the altar. Although Deutsche Börse has, of course, already faced the harsh truth of rejection over its earlier proposal.

Bredin Prat, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton and Stibbe have joined forces to represent Euronext in the protracted battle for the exchange. Herbert Smith alliance firm Stibbe has been appointed by Euronext as global coordinating counsel, while Cleary is advising on US aspects of the negotiations.

In fact, a swathe of firms has got in on the action. But Manhattan giant Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz, led by corporate partner David Karp, is likely to be the true winner of the merger, advising its regular client the NYSE.

O’Melveny & Myers is representing the NYSE’s board of directors, while French boutique Darrois Villey Maillot Brochier and Benelux firm Loyens & Loeff are also advising the NYSE.

CMS Bureau Francis Lefebvre is advising the NYSE with respect to French tax and labour law aspects.