The Nasdaq has made a second bid for the London Stock Exchange (LSE) valued at £2.7bn.
The US based tech market has also made a raid on LSE stocks this morning buying 7,065,984 ordinary shares in the LSE at a price of 1,243p each.
The Nasdaq has as a result increased its share in the LSE from 25% to 28.75%.
Meanwhile it is also offering cash at 200p for every LSE B Share (plus an amount equal to the accrued dividend), valuing the entire issued B share capital of LSE at approximately £16.5m.
Nasdaq says it is making its announcement to ensure that all market participants are properly informed of the details of its final offers. It has requested a meeting with LSE's chairman to seek a recommendation of the final offers in advance of posting its offer document.
The LSE has seen strong growth this year with volumes of 56% up year-on-year for the six months to September 2006, and strong new issue activity currently being experienced.
LSE's share price has risen 216% over the last two years and 103% over the past year while net income growth has been 75% and 50% respectively over the last two years.
The offer price of 1,243p per LSE ordinary share represents a 54% premium over the closing price on 10 March 2006, the business day immediately prior to LSE's announcement that it had received a pre-conditional approach from Nasdaq.
It is also a 40% increase on Nasdaq’s original offer price on 9 March 2006.
Nasdaq says it will submit a filing to the Office of Fair Trading in relation to the deal today but does not expect it to give rise to any significant antitrust issues.
It adds it expects the deal to complete in the first quarter of 2007. The final offers will not be revised except that Nasdaq reserves the right to revise them on the recommendation of the LSE board or if a rival bid for the LSE is announced.
Robert Greifeld, president and chief executive of Nasdaq, says: "We are excited about the prospect of combining two strong businesses to form the leading global, cross-border equity market platform giving issuers the ability to dual-list simultaneously in London and New York. The combined entity will be well positioned to lead further consolidation and compete effectively for the benefit of all market users."
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