Euronext Receives Approval to Acquire Oslo Børs from Norway

The Ministry of Finance has given Euronext clearance to acquire up to 100 percent of the firm.

There’s been a development in the struggle between Euronext and Nasdaq to acquire Oslo Børs VPS – Norway’s Ministry of Finance has given clearance to Euronext to acquire up to 100 percent of Oslo Børs’ capital, the exchange announced this Monday.

With the approval given by the ministry, the pan-European exchange has confirmed its intention to complete the acquisition of the exchange and central securities depository operator in Norway by the end of June this year, the company announced today.

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The decision from the ministry was one of the last major conditions of Euronext’s deal that needed to be met before the transaction could be completed.

Already, the Amsterdam-headquartered company has secured a majority of the capital of Oslo Børs – 53.4 percent. As outlined by the European exchange, this includes irrevocable pre-commitments, shares tendered to the Offer, and directly owned shares.

Stéphane Boujnah the CEO of Euronext and Chairman
Stéphane Boujnah, CEO of Euronext
Source: Euronext

Commenting on the approval, Stéphane Boujnah, the CEO and Chairman of the Managing Board of Euronext said: “Euronext welcomes the Ministry’s clearance to acquire up to 100% of Oslo Børs VPS’s capital and look forward to completing the next steps to close the transaction by the end of June 2019.

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“As part of the Euronext family, Oslo Børs VPS will continue to be a strong and leading Nordic exchange and CSD, and a hub for Euronext’s ambitions in the region. Euronext looks forward to supporting the Norwegian financial and business community, to working constructively with all key constituents and stakeholders to further drive the success of Oslo Børs VPS.”

Euronext and Nasdaq Continue Battle Over Oslo Børs

Since the end of January, Euronext and Nasdaq have been in a race to acquire Oslo Børs. The European exchange originally published its offer document on the 14th of January this year, and Nasdaq quickly announced that it would release a counter offer towards the end of January.

After announcing its intention to throw its hat in the ring, the Board of Directors of Oslo Børs stated that it considers the offer from Nasdaq the “best alternative for all stakeholders” and “therefore unanimously recommends that the shareholders of Oslo Børs VPS accept the Offer and do not accept the offer to acquire the shares of Oslo Børs VPS made by Euronext NV”.

However, this did not deter the Dutch company. In fact, since then, the two firms have been upping their bid and extending their acceptance periods. In April, Nasdaq announced that its subsidiary, Nasdaq AB, was on track to complete its purchase of shares in Oslo Børs.

Specifically, the exchange operator now expects that it will control 37 percent of the company’s shares, meaning it will share ownership of the Norwegian company with Euronext.

Following today’s announcement, Euronext shareholders will now need to approve the acquisition at its upcoming general meeting on the 16th of May. Already, The Dutch firm’s reference shareholders have confirmed their support for the transaction.

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