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The Oslo Stock Exchange still prefers Nasdaq, despite the rewriting of Euronext

Paris (AWP / AFP) – The global stock market operator Euronext, which remains "firmly committed" to the acquisition of the Oslo Stock Exchange, raised Monday's auction against Nasdaq and offered an additional 70 million euros (79.3 million francs) to offer the Nordic the operator who continues to prefer the American fold.

A week after announcing plans to overcome Nasdaq's competitive bid, Euronext is now ready to pay EUR 695 million (788 million Swiss francs) to absorb the stock market in Oslo from about 675 million euros. million of euros proposed by Nasdaq at the end of January.

In the amount of 158 NOK (18.24 Swiss francs) per share compared to older SEK 145, the revised Euronext offer reached a 44% charge against the closing price of Oslo Børs VPS on 17 December 2018 and exceeded almost 4% reported by the US competitor , 152 crowns per share, 38% premium.

"Every received shareholder (bid) also receives an interest payment at a revised bid equal to 6% per annum from the date the Shareholders accepted the offer or 29 January 2019," Euronext said.

The operator, whose offer was extended by four weeks, by March 11, says "convinced that the transaction could be completed in the second quarter of 2019".

Financial arguments, however, may not be enough to bend the government bodies of the Oslo Stock Exchange, which have reiterated their unanimous support for the Nasdaq project, which is already the owner of the second Nordic and Baltic exchange, since the announcement of Euronext's new offer.

"Our recommendations and board decisions remain unchanged for the right strategist," said Norwegian director Bente Landsnes at AFP.

The same applies to the two major shareholders of the Oslo Stock Exchange, DNB (20%) and KLP (10%), who have irrevocably committed themselves to the US operator.

Insufficient financial argumentation?

"With regard to offers, more than the price we are interested in is what the owner can offer to the business community and therefore we support the board of directors of the Oslo Stock Exchange, KLP head Sverre Thornes told AFP via its communications services.

"DNB has accepted an offer from Nasdaq and is linked to this offer, and Euronext's offer today has no concrete implications for us," DNB Communications Director Thomas Midteide said in an e-mail to AFP.

However, Euronext, which is already managing sites in Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Lisbon and Dublin, presents a "decentralized model" that will allow Oslo Børs VPS (controlling the Norwegian site) to maintain its local footprint, leadership and dynamic local market and support their ambitions by making use of the strengths of an agile European business group. "

Nasdaq on Monday assured AFP that it is "convinced that the industrial partnership between Nasdaq and Oslo Børs VPS is of value to customers, issuers, investors and the stock market."

"In addition to the partnership with Oslo Børs VPS to create a pan-European business ecosystem in the Nordic markets, Nasdaq plans to work closely with Oslo Børs VPS to expand the market for small and medium-sized businesses in Norway," says the operator. US.

Even if Euronext invoked the irrevocable support of 50.5% of the shareholders in the Oslo Stock Exchange, and it counts with 5% it already owns, while only 35.11% of the Nasdaq offer, the last word could be dedicated to the Norwegian authorities whose approval is essential all shares exceeding 10%.

The European operator announced on Christmas Eve, after winning an auction launched by some stockholders of the Oslo Stock Exchange without knowing the governing body, to buy the second one.

On 4 January, the Oslo Stock Exchange announced that it was looking for more potential stakeholders, and a week later it published several trademarks without revealing names.

AFP / ck

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