Euronext, a leading pan-European exchange, has upped its bid for the acquisition of Oslo Børs VPS. Following a competing offer from Nasdaq, which outbid the exchange’s initial offer, Euronext has increased its offering from NOK 145 ($16.72) to NOK 158 (18.22) per share.
In addition to the increased bid, the exchange has also extended the acceptance period, which was initially scheduled to end today, by an extra four weeks, with the new deadline set for March 11, 2019.
Background on Euronext vs Nasdaq Saga
Euronext was the first to state its intention of acquiring Oslo Børs VPS. As Finance Magnates reported, the company published its offer document on January 14 this year. As per the document, the exchange was originally offering NOK 6.24 billion ($719.67 million) to purchase the shares, which translates to NOK 145 ($16.72) per share.
Nasdaq AB, an indirect subsidiary of Nasdaq Inc. then later announced on January 30 that it would also make a public offer in February to acquire all of the issued shares of Oslo Børs VPS. The company’s offer was NOK 152 per share ($17.53).
At the time of Nasdaq’s initial announcement, the Board of Oslo Børs VPS put its weight behind Nasdaq’s offer and advised its shareholders to accept its deal instead of Euronext’s.
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Euronext Remains Confident in the Acquisition
Although Euronext acknowledges the support of Nasdaq’s offer from Oslo Børs VPS and highlights that the firm did not ask the exchange to provide an additional offer, Euronext states that it has been encouraged to submit the counteroffer after dialogue with a large number of relevant market participants in Norway.
Already, the exchange has secured support from shareholders who represent 50.5 per cent of the total number of outstanding shares. The exchange’s offer is subject to a minimum acceptance condition of 50.01 per cent, which has already been met.
Commenting on the new offer, Stéphane Boujnah, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Managing Board of Euronext, said: “We strongly believe that a combination with Euronext provides Oslo Børs VPS with clear and superior benefits compared to any other offer.”
“Oslo Børs VPS will maintain its identity and integrity within Euronext’s decentralised model with a strong impact on the future strategy of the enlarged group. Oslo’s role as a key financial centre will be reinforced. Oslo Børs VPS employees will be empowered to develop the satisfaction of their clients, with the ability to shape the future for Euronext and for the Norwegian economy.”
“Oslo Børs VPS and Norway will be represented at the Managing and Supervisory Boards of Euronext at Group level. Leading representatives of the Norwegian financial community are welcome to remain as shareholders and become partners of Euronext. We are open to discuss with all stakeholders to present our long-term ambition to create a leading exchange player in the Nordics based in Oslo.”
Now, the decision will ultimately be made by the Ministry of Finance in Norway. Nonetheless, Euronext states that it is confident that the deal can be completed during the second quarter of 2019.