Nasdaq warns on LSE bid

8 January 2007

Nasdaq has stated that it has no plans to revise a bid for the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) and has accused the market's board of "placing independence before shareholder value".

The US stock exchange stated in a formal response document that it would not be increasing its offer for the UK company and called on shareholders to accept the 1,243p per share bid, worth around £2.7 billion.

New York-based Nasdaq is attempting a hostile takeover of the LSE and has accused the UK-based exchange of "milking its dominant position", insisting that its latest offer, the second in nine months, is fair.

Nasdaq owns a 29 per cent stake in the LSE and has given LSE investors until January 11th to accept its offer, threatening to sell its share of the exchange and set up a rival London market if it fails.

Robert Greifeld, Nasdaq chief executive, said: "The final offers represent full and fair value to existing LSE shareholders, and the proposed LSE/Nasdaq combination presents a unique opportunity to create a global, balanced and scalable exchange business."

The LSE has refused to comment on the latest statement from the Nasdaq, but is not expected to recommend the offer, which is worth less than it current share price. However, a sale of Nasdaq's shares in the LSE could lead to a sharp fall in its value.

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