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ASX to merge with SFE in $1.5bn deal

The Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) is to merge with the Sydney-based SFE – Australia's largest futures exchange, after SFE shareholders agreed to accept the $1.5 billion offer.

However the deal was reportedly in real danger of falling through after many shareholders refused to accept that the current CEO of ASX, Tony D'Aloisio, would stay on following the merger.

The two companies finally relented, amid reports that over 25 per cent of shareholders opposed Mr D'Aloisio, appointing SFE's Robert Elstone to head what will be the Asia-Pacific region's third largest exchange instead.

Shareholder's also accepted the bid despite ASX earlier refusing to increase their offer about the $1.5 billion mark, with the merger set to go ahead with each SFE share exchanged for 0.51 of an ASX share.

In response to the news of the deal, shares in SFE fell 2.3 per cent, while shares in ASX rose by 0.7 per cent.