Nasdaq outbids Euronext with $770m offer for Oslo Stock Exchange
As reported earlier this month, Oslo Bors was looking for something more generous than Euronext’s acquisition offer of $713 million.
Oslo Bors said at the time: “The process will take place in January and the objective will be to find the optimal solution in the best interests both of shareholder value and of the functions of the group’s stock exchange and central securities depository activities in the Norwegian securities market.”
Euronext already manages the national stock exchanges of five European countries – Belgium, Netherlands, France, Portugal and Ireland. Its most recent acquisition was the Irish Stock Exchange last year.
In the latest development, Nasdaq says it will make a public offer to acquire all the issued shares of Oslo Bors. It seems to have won.
“We have reviewed the offer from Nasdaq thoroughly, and duly considered all factors significant when assessing whether it should be accepted by our shareholders, including comparing the offer with the one made by Euronext,” says Catharina E. Hellerud, chair of the board of directors of Oslo Bors.
She adds: “Our conclusion is unanimous and clear in that Nasdaq represents a more attractive partner, both from a shareholder value perspective and from an industrial, market and strategic perspective.”
The offer price represents a 5% premium to the Euronext one. And money talks.
According to Nasdaq, Oslo Bors also found the offer attractive for other reasons.
These include retaining the Oslo Bors brand; developing Norway as a centre of excellence in commodities; and enabling Oslo Bors to “benefit from the full global reach of Nasdaq’s resources, technology, data and brand”.
Nasdaq is the second-largest stock exchange in the world by market capitalisation, behind the New York Stock Exchange.
The exchange platform is owned by Nasdaq, Inc., which also owns the Nasdaq Baltic stock market network and Nasdaq Nordic (previously known as OMX). In addition, it has several US stock and options exchanges.
Nasdaq and Oslo Bors have entered into a transaction agreement, pursuant to certain undertakings. The offer is expected to be published on or around 4 February 2019.