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Business

Hedge Fund Collusion in Börse Affair?

Financial market regulator BaFin said Thursday it had found signs that some hedge funds may have colluded in toppling Deutsche Börse's chairman earlier this month, and that would oblige them to launch a full takeover bid for the stock market operator. BaFin, which announced last week that it was launching an investigation to find out whether the hedge funds had acted in concert to force chief executive officer Werner Seifert to quit, said it had found "indications" that a number of funds had colluded to block Deutsche Börse's plans to buy the London Stock Exchange earlier this year. BaFin president Jochen Sanio told a news conference that the investigation would continue. If, at the end of the day, it was found that collusion had taken place and if the funds held a combined stake more than 30 percent in the company, they could be obliged under German law to launch a public takeover offer for the remaining shares in Deutsche Börse. A number of hedge funds, most notably London-based TCI and Atticus Capital, successfully blocked Deutsche Börse's plans to buy the LSE and were also instrumental in the departure of Swiss-born Seifert two weeks ago.

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