Deutsche Boerse, the German stock market operator, announced that Lloyd’s Chairman Lord Peter Levene would be giving up his seat on the company’s supervisory board.
Levene originally agreed to take a seat on the board of the German company when it seemed likely that it would conclude a deal to take over the London Stock Exchange (LSE). His immense prestige and position as the head of Lloyd’s gave a great deal of added weight to Deutsche Boerse’s efforts.
Unfortunately it didn’t work out that way. Earlier this year the company was forced to abandon its acquisition plan as its shareholders, led by the London-based hedge fund TCI, increasingly opposed the deal. TCI, which holds approximately 8 percent of Deutsche Bourse, making it the company’s single largest shareholder, has sharply criticized Board Chairman Rolf Breuer’s handling of the LSE transaction, and has been demanding a seat on the board. Levene’s departure makes one available.
According to a report from the AFP, Levene stated in a letter to Breuer that, “Since this transaction is no longer proceeding, I believe my contribution to the supervisory board will be much more limited.” He also pointed out that he’d agreed to become a board member in the belief that there would be only four meetings per year, but he now found that the demands on his time were significantly greater, and had “reached a level which sadly I cannot meet.”
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