* Deutsche Boerse CEO says will evaluate opportunities
* Says main focus remains standalone growth
* Company is open to partnership talks in Asia
FRANKFURT, June 18 (Reuters) - Deutsche Boerse Chief Executive Reto Francioni signalled on Tuesday that the exchange operator was still on the lookout for merger and acquisition deals, after its attempted takeover of NYSE Euronext was blocked last year.
The company is mainly focused on growing without large deals, particularly since global regulators have blocked big acquisitions in the past, Francioni said. The European Commission blocked the attempted takeover of NYSE Euronext last February.
Nonetheless, consolidation is inevitable in an industry dependent on scale, he said.
“We will continue to evaluate complementary M&A opportunities as they arise,” Francioni told analysts and investors at the company’s annual investor day.
Among the examples of recent complementary deals are Deutsche Boerse raising its stake in STOXX, and taking a majority stake in European Energy Exchange and derivatives exchange Eurex.
Deutsche Boerse is also working on expanding through partnerships in Asia, Francioni said.
“We are open to partnerships that enhance value,” Francioni said.
The Frankfurt-based operator of the Xetra equities platform and the Eurex derivatives exchange said it would also continue with its cost-cutting programme so that it could maintain its dividend payout ratio of between 40-60 percent.
Chief Financial Officer Gregor Pottmeyer said Deutsche Boerse was on target to achieve annual cost savings of 70 million euros ($93.4 million) by 2016. Of this amount, 25 million euros in savings will come from personnel costs.
A programme of voluntary redundancies had been agreed with labour representatives and will result in the departure of around 140 staff, Pottmeyer said.
The cost of implementing the cuts, including redundancy payments, will amount to 110 million euros, of which 66 million euros have been booked in the first quarter 2013.