LSE to look for global partner

19 January 2007

The London Stock Exchange will actively look for a global exchange partner if the Nasdaq takeover bid is defeated.

Speaking to the UK's Daily Telegraph LSE chief executive Clara Furse explained that there was a "world of opportunity" in front of the bourse after the threat of what she described as Nasdaq's "wholly inadequate" offer has passed.

"We have made it clear that we're interested in any strategic opportunity that adds to our growth story. In the evolving global exchange sector, there are many opportunities," she told the newspaper.

Ms Furse was speaking after the LSE released a shareholder circular as a response to Nasdaq's final offer on December 12th.

The circular highlighted the group's prospects "underpinned by its global leadership position for listings, the continuing structural shift to higher volumes of trading driven by declining transaction costs, increasingly fast and efficient technology and the growing demand for data products".

Chris Gibson-Smith, LSE chairman, made it clear that an offer at the right price would be considered.

He said the board "remains open to a strategic combination and the circular explains that shareholders and customers would benefit from a transaction which properly recognises the value of the Exchange Group and its markets. Shareholders should not be persuaded to sell their shares below their true value".

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