HKEX proposes $39bn London Stock Exchange takeover

It is however still an offer and is not confirmation of a firm intention to bid

The Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited has proposed a 31.6bn pound ($39bn) takeover of the London Stock Exchange, it said on Wednesday, just weeks after the London bourse announced a plan to merge with data company Refinitiv.

“The board of HKEX believes a proposed combination with LSEG represents a highly compelling strategic opportunity to create a global market infrastructure leader,” the Hong Kong exchange said in a statement.

“The board of HKEX also believes that the two businesses are highly complementary and as such, looks forward to working with the relevant authorities to deliver a clear path to completion,” the HKEX added.

Acccording to HKEX the deal would be funded by a combination of existing cash and a new credit facility. It cautioned, however, that its statement to the market should be considered as an announcement to make a possible offer and is not confirmation of a firm intention to bid. The company nevertheless added that its proposed transaction would only go ahead if the LSE’s proposed takeover of Refinitiv does not proceed.

The ultimatum comes after in August LSE agreed to buy financial information provider Refinitiv in a $27bn deal aimed at offering trading across regions and currencies and establishing the British company as a rival to Bloomberg. 

But Hong Kong Exchanges already has a base in London as owner of the London Metal Exchange. The LSE, on the other hand has long sought to bolster its footprint in Asia and recently launched a link with Shanghai.

There was no immediate comment from LSE. The same goes to Refinitiv and Refinitiv majority shareholder Blackstone.

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