January 12, 2017 / 4:10 PM / 7 months ago

Deutsche Boerse, LSE to meet German watchdog to solve HQ issue - sources

FRANKFURT, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Top executives from Deutsche Boerse and LSE are planning to meet German policy makers with veto powers next week as they seek to resolve a stumbling block to the exchanges' planned merger, three people close to the matter said.

At the centre of the discussions between the groups' chief executives and chairmen as well as German state of Hesse's prime minister and economy minister will be the issue of where a merged group will be headquartered, the people added.

Deutsche Boerse declined to comment, while LSE and Hesse were not immediately available for comment.

The unresolved headquarters issue is seen as the last major obstacle next to the antitrust clearance by the EU commission, whose decision is expected by March 13.

The owner of the Frankfurt stock exchange is obliged by law to support the development of Frankfurt as a centre for securities trading and Hesse's market watchdog has yet to give its view on the planned merger.

The Wiesbaden, Hesse-based watchdog fears to lose regulatory sway on the merged company if it were based outside Germany, the people said.

So far, Deutsche Boerse and LSE had planned to set up joint headquarters in London. A potential compromise would be a structure with dual headquarters in London and Frankfurt, the people said.

The meeting will be used to get a better understanding of each others positions and discuss possible solutions, one of the people said, adding that decisions on the topic were not yet expected. (Reporting by Andreas Kroener; Additional reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Harro ten Wolde)

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