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Nasdaq sale of London Stock Exchange stake prompts reports on potential buyers

Nasdaq sale of London Stock Exchange stake prompts reports on potential buyers

Nasdaq Stock Market Inc.'s decision to sell its stake in the London Stock Exchange has already prompted a flurry of media reports about who the buyer will be, but analysts say it is too soon to tell.
A Nasdaq spokeswoman declined to comment on specific reports but said the exchange hadn't announced any shift in its week-old position. The exchange said Aug. 20 that the sale of its 31 percent stake in the LSE wouldn't go to a single bidder, or a group of bidders "acting in concert."
Nasdaq decided to sell its stake in the LSE after twice trying to buy the exchange in the past two years and each time being rejected by shareholders. Nasdaq has said it planned to use proceeds from the sale to pay down debt and repurchase stock, though the exchange could funnel some of the money toward its play for Sweden's OMX AB exchange.
London's Sunday Times reported that Singapore's state-owned investment vehicle, Temasek Holdings, has contacted Nasdaq about acquiring the shares. Dow Jones Newswires later quoted Singapore officials as denying that report.
A London Stock Exchange spokeswoman declined to comment on any of the reports Monday, a bank holiday in Britain.
Meanwhile, London's Daily Telegraph, like the Sunday Times, cited anonymous sources in reporting Nasdaq might sell the stake to Borse Dubai. The report said Nasdaq and the United Arab Emirates stock exchange would then jointly pursue Stockholm-based OMX. Nasdaq and Borse Dubai have both made bids for OMX.
Another report names Deutsche Boerse AG as having approached Nasdaq. Deutsche Boerse has gone after the LSE in the past.
"Our sense is that it is too early to read into any of these headlines," Joshua Elving, an analyst with Piper Jaffray & Co. "We have heard rumors that there are several interested parties," he said, referring to the LSE stake.
The latest reports come at a time of widespread dealmaking and consolidation among the world's stock exchanges, with electronic trading squeezing profit margins and making tie-ups an attractive way to gain market share.
For its part, the LSE has scooped up Borsa Italiana SpA since rejecting Nasdaq's latest bid in March.
Of course any dealmaking by Nasdaq could involve an effort to stymie its rival, the New York Stock Exchange, which this year cemented its overseas reach with the acquisition of Euronext, the operator of the Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon exchanges. The NYSE also led a group of investors in acquiring a 20 percent stake in India's National Stock Market
In any event, investors could know for sure relatively soon. Nasdaq said when it announced its intentions that hoped to have a sale completed within about four to six weeks.


Updated : 2021-04-14 09:13 GMT+08:00