Tuesday, 17 September, 2019

Hong Kong Stock Exchange looks to acquire LSE for £32bn

Martin Sorrell Sir Martin formed S4 Capital after leaving ad giant WPP Credit Jason Alden Bloomberg
Jean Garcia | 11 September, 2019, 14:28

The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited has proposed a 31.6 billion pound takeover of the London Stock Exchange LSE.L , it said on Wednesday, just weeks after the London bourse announced a plan to merge with data company Refinitiv.

HKEX says the combination would create a leading market infrastructure group with a global footprint and, crucially, close ties to China.

A further announcement will be forthcoming, but the London exchange operator insists that it "remains committed to and continues to make good progress on its proposed acquisition of Refinitiv". Together, they have the ability to offer "unique potential to enhance and capture global capital and data flows", it said.

The Hong Kong exchange group has made an unsolicited offer of £32 billion ($39.6 million) for the company.

The move is just the latest in a string of takeover bids from overseas buyers aiming to take advantage of weakened sterling, which has made United Kingdom assets cheap for North American and Asian buyers.

It previously bought the London Metal Exchange for £1.4B in 2012.

Tepid reaction for Apple's new iPhones in China amid tough competition
The last three "one more thing" moments heralded the launches of the Apple Watch, Apple Music, and the iPhone X. Apparently, even in Apple's books, we haven't had anything worthy of that superlative category for two years.

The HKSE deal is subject to approval by both sets of shareholders, as well as the termination of the Refinitiv deal.

"Following early engagement with LSEG, we look forward to working in detail with the LSEG board to demonstrate that this transaction is in the best interests of all stakeholders, investors and both businesses".

In short, Hunter said the proposal was "a fascinating prospect, but far from a done deal".

Shares in the London Stock Exchange Group jumped by more than 15% on news of the offer, but fell back later.

In 2017, the European Union blocked an attempted merger between the LSE and Germany's Deutsche Boerse, saying a "de facto monopoly" would be created for some financial services.

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