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Hong Kong exchange offers London rival $39bn takeover bid

Hong Kong exchange offers London rival $39bn takeover bid

Mubasher: Hong Kong on Wednesday proposed a surprise GBP 31.6 billion ($39.02 billion) bid for the London Stock Exchange (LSE) Group, the Associated Press reported.

Shares in the LSE climbed as much as 16% after Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) announced the cash-and-stocks proposal.

HKEX would pay nearly GBP 8.36 ($10.32) per share, valuing the LSE at almost GBP 29.6 billion, or GBP 31.6 billion including debt.

HKEX’s offered price is 23% higher than LSE’s closing share price on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, the offer still depends on dropping the LSE’s planned GBP 21.9 billion deal to take over data provider Refinitiv, the Hong Kong exchange said.

The LSE agreed to buy Refinitiv last month, which would see key shareholders like Blackstone and Reuters, having a stake of a 37% in the combined company.

The potential merger is set to “redefine global capital markets for decades to come,” HKEX said.

However, such proposal was regarded by LSE as “unsolicited, preliminary and highly conditional,” but it said it would consider the bid.

However, LSE “remains committed to and continues to make good progress on its proposed acquisition of Refinitiv.”