BGC Partners Urges GFI Shareholders to Vote Down CME Group Proposal

Following a slew of events, the latest step taken by BGC Partners is a filing for preliminary proxy materials with

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The latest batch of developments around the ‘alphabet battle’ bidding war for the future ownership of the GFI Group, is now on its final track towards conclusion. Or is it…? In a letter to shareholders of the GFI group, the Chariman and CEO of BGC Partners, Howard Lutnick, has expressed his views that the offer made by his company is “clearly superior” to the CME Group’s proposal.

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As far as the numbers are concerned, this indeed is the case, since after the bidding war for the GFI Group (NYSE:GFIG) began in July last year with the CME Group (NYSE:CME) offering $4.55 per share in an all share deal to the GFI Group’s shareholders.

With BGC Partners (NASDAQ:BGCP) proposing a competitive offer of $5.25 per share and announcing that it is already holding 13.5% of the company, GFI’s board still sided with the CME Group (NYSE:CME) offer.

As part of the CME deal, a private consortium of investors led by the current GFI Group (NYSE:GFIG) management, led by Executive Chairman Michael Gooch, CEO Collin Heffron and Managing Director Nick Brown, they would buy back the wholesale brokerage unit of the company for $165 million.

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Later the offer was revised to match the $5.25 per share offered by BGC Partners, with the increase solely based on a revised offer for the wholesale brokerage arm of GFI.

The latest effort led by BGC Partners is however at a premium of $0.20, or about 4% higher than the CME proposal. In addition the offer is all cash, providing GFI shareholders who tender their shares with certain liquidity promptly after acceptance for payment.

BGC’s CEO stated in the letter, “We urge you to protect the value of your investment in GFI Group by voting against all of the proposals at the special meeting of GFI shareholders scheduled for January 27th and by tendering your shares into BGC’s higher offer.”

“BGC’s $5.45 per share fully financed, all-cash tender offer provides superior value and immediate liquidity at closing and is free of the conflicts of interest inherent in the proposed CME-GFI merger that provides shareholders with an inferior value for your shares,” he proceeds.

The company states that it will be sending out a proxy statement and gold proxy cards enabling investors to oppose the CME-GFI deal.

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