Brexit: The London Stock Exchange’s $20bn merger with Deutsche Boerse now at risk
The merger between London Stock Exchange and Deutsche Borse would create one the biggest exchange firms in the world. Reuters

Deutsche Borse AG (DBAG) and the London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) have decided to "formally submit the divestment of LCH.Clearnet SA", LSEG's French clearing house that is headquartered in London.

The German firm announced on Tuesday (7 February) that the move was aimed at getting approvals from European antitrust authorities for its €29bn (£24.92bn) merger with LSEG. It said the divestment would "address anti-trust concerns raised by the European Commission in relation to the merger of DBAG and LSEG."

The move comes on the last day of the permitted time frame to offer potential solutions to the regulator.

"Following today's expiry of the time limit for the submission of remedy proposals under the EU Merger Regulation, the European Commission will consult market participants on the remedy proposed by DBAG and LSEG (so-called market test)," DBAG said in a statement.

The divestment move however, does not come as a surprise. LSEG had in December 2016 initiated negotiations with exchanges operator Euronext over the sale of this clearing house. The move had then come just a week after the European Commission had raised objections over the proposed merger between both the exchanges.

Carsten Kengeter, CEO of Deutsche Borse, had then told the Financial Times that the LCH sale would be "crucial" to gaining the EU's approval. "We believe that the vast majority of the concerns that are coming out of Brussels will, in fact, be addressed by [the sale of LCH SA]," he had said.

Following this, DBAG said in January that Euronext had agreed to purchase the clearing house for €510m. It however, said that the deal would be subject to clearance from the European Commission, shareholder approvals and a few other conditions.

The merger between LSEG and DBAG would create one the biggest exchange firms in the world. The deal is said to have become complicated amid the UK's decision to leave the European Union. While it requires permissions from various other regulators including those in the UK and Brussels, rival firms such as the Nasdaq and Euroclear have already raised objections to this deal.