Links and Wachtell lead as Deutsche Börse and NYSE merger advances

Linklaters and Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz have claimed the leading M&A roles on the proposed merger between the US and German stock exchanges.

A Düsseldorf-based Linklaters team is understood to be acting for Deutsche Börse on the deal, led by capital markets partner Ralph Wollburg, while Brussels competition head Alec Burnside is working on the antitrust side. The firm declined to comment.

New York Stock Exchange owner NYSE Euronext turned to Wachtell, which featured a team led by New York corporate partner David Karp. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is advising NYSE on competition issues, with partners Nick Levy and Brian Byrne leading.

If the merger goes ahead, the combined entity would be based in New York and Frankfurt and would be the world’s largest exchange by turnover.

The news follows the agreed merger between the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and Canada’s TMX Group. Allen & Overy and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer took the mandates on the UK side for, respectively TMX and LSE (9 February 2011).