NYSE CEO Thain On Euronext Merger


Today, New York Stock Exchange shareholders voted to endorse the $14.3 billion acquisition of European exchange Euronext. Euronext shareholders, who held their vote yesterday, also approved the deal. CNBC's Maria Bartiromo interviewed NYSE CEO John Thain this morning on “Squawk Box.” He says the deal won’t be complete until the first quarter of 2007, but he’s already got his eye on Asia.

“Asia is the next logical step,” says Thain. He admitted NYSE has already had preliminary talks with the Tokyo Stock Exchange. He’s also looking in India and China. But the fact that these Asian exchanges are different in how they do business from NYSE will prevent an acquisition from happening in the near term.

As for Euronext, many critics of the deal feared European companies would be subject to the U.S.’s strict regulatory rules, namely Sarbanes-Oxley. But each market will continue to follow its respective regulations, Thain says, adding there won’t be any “regulatory spillover.” The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and its European counterpart have agreed to respect each other’s jurisdiction.

Expect integration to take a year or so, the NYSE CEO says. Part of that will be streamlining the two exchanges trading platforms, data centers and networks. Thain hopes to cut $250 million off the $600 million NYSE and Euronext spent on technology each year.

Euronext CEO Jean-Francois Theodore will be deputy CEO of the newly merged company.