Bidding war continues

Oslo Børs

writer icon Tormod Birch     Stein Henningsen   |   Investment     🕐 11. Mar. 2019

The bidding war between Euronext and Nasdaq Nordic has been under way for a while. They have been bidding against each other to buy Oslo stock exchange, since the end of January 2019.

The first bid, from Dutch group Euronext NV, occurred on Christmas Eve. Nasdaq Nordic, a subsidiary of Nasdaq Inc, submitted an offer of their own in the following month, and a bidding war began.

Nasdaq came in strong with an offer of NOK 152 per share, where Euronext had originally placed theirs at NOK 145 per share.

Impressed with Nasdaq’s offer, CEO of the Oslo Stock Exchange Bente Landsnes stated that the entire board and management believed Nasdaq Nordic to be the right choice.

A Standstill
After having challenged each other's bids, Nasdaq and Euronext have arrived at a standstill, with the former upping its most recent bid to NOK 158 per share, to match its rival.

Oslo stock exchange is now faced with making a choice based on what the two exchanges bring to the table, rather than only their price bids.

Norwegian analysts baffled
Norwegian analysts are not happy with with how Oslo stock exchange have handled the bidding war so far. Myrholt at SpareBank 1 Markets, cannot grasp why the board of the Oslo stock exchange has been more reserved towards Euronext, and why it has chosen to recommend Nasdaq to its shareholders.

"It is the price that should be the deciding factor in this process. Both buyers are professional players. There would probably be some changes with Euronext as the owner as well, but I do not see why Nasdaq [Nordic] would be so much better, like the board claims" the analyst says.

Approval needed
The deadline for accepting Euronext's bid expires today, the 11th of March. Regardless of it gets accepted or not, any subsequent acquisition will have to be approved by Finanstilsynet (Financial Supervisory Authority of Norway) and the Ministry of Finance.

Euronext and Nasdaq Nordic have both submitted applications to Finanstilsynet and the Ministry of Finance, in case either of their offers gets accepted.

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