Oslo Stock Exchange still prefers Nasdaq, despite the replacement of Euronext



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Paris (awp / afp) – Staying "firmly committed" to the completion of the acquisition of the Oslo Stock Exchange, Euronext, the second-largest operator in the European stock market, raised the auction on Monday against Nasdaq, (79.3 million Swiss francs) to offer the Nordic operator, who continues to prefer the American fold.

A week after announcing that it plans to outperform the Nasdaq competitive offer, Euronext is now poised to pay 695 million euros (788 million Swiss francs) to absorb the Oslo Stock Exchange, up nearly 675 million euros. million proposed by the Nasdaq at the end of January.

At 158 ​​NOK (18.24 Swiss francs) per share, compared to 145 SEK previously, the revised offer of Euronext represents a 44% premium on the closing price of Oslo Børs VPS on December 17, 2018, and exceeds almost 4% than announced by its American competitor, 152 crowns per share, a premium of 38%.

"Each Shareholder that is accepting (the Offer) will also receive a payment of interest on the revised Offer Price equal to 6% per annum from the date Shareholders accepted the Offer or on January 29, 2019." , says Euronext.

The operator, whose offer was extended for four weeks, until March 11, says "confident that the transaction could be finalized in the second quarter of 2019".

However, the financial argument may not be enough to double the bodies of the Oslo Stock Exchange, which since the announcement of the new offer of Euronext, have reiterated their unanimous support for the Nasdaq project, which already owns the other. Nordic and Baltic stock exchanges.

"Our recommendation and that of the board of directors remain unchanged for the right strategic owner," Norwegian director Bente Landsnes told AFP.

The same goes for the two main shareholders of the Oslo Stock Exchange, the DNB bank (20%) and the pension fund KLP (10%), which irrevocably committed themselves to the US operator.

Insufficient financial argument?

"In terms of offers, rather than price, what interests us is what an owner can offer the business community and therefore we support the board of directors of the Oslo Stock Exchange, told AFP the head of KLP, Sverre Thornes, through its communication services.

"DNB has accepted an offer from Nasdaq and is tied to this offer, and the offer from Euronext today has no concrete consequences for us," DNB Communications director Thomas Midteide said in an email to AFP.

Euronext, which already runs Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Lisbon and Dublin, has a "decentralized model" that will allow Oslo Børs VPS (Norwegian holding company Ed) to preserve its local footprint, dynamic local market, and support their ambitions, harnessing the strengths of an agile European trade group. "

In turn, the Nasdaq assured Monday with AFP remain "convinced that the industrial partnership between Nasdaq and Oslo Børs VPS offers greater value to customers, issuers, investors and the stock market."

"In addition to a partnership with Oslo Børs VPS to create a pan-regional trade ecosystem in the Nordic markets, the Nasdaq plans to work closely with Oslo Børs VPS to expand the SME market in Norway," the operator says. USA.

Thus, even if Euronext invokes the irrevocable support of 50.5% of shareholders of the Oslo Stock Exchange, relying on the 5% already in its possession, while only 35.11% have supported so far Nasdaq offer, the last word could go to the Norwegian authorities whose endorsement is essential for any share of more than 10%.

The pan-European carrier announced on Christmas Eve, after winning an auction initiated by some shareholders of the Oslo Stock Exchange without the knowledge of the body, its intention to buy the latter.

On January 4, the Oslo Stock Exchange announced that it was looking for other potentially interested parties, and a week later reported several brands of interest without revealing any name.

afp / ck

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