Hong Kong stock exchange drops $40 billion bid for London Stock

Hong Kong: Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) said on Tuesday that it has dropped its multi-billion dollar bid for the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

The bid was worth 40 billion US dollars and dependent on giving up the LSE’s planned purchase of US financial data provider Refinitiv.

HKEX said in a statement that its board continues to believe that a combination of LSE and HKEX is strategically compelling and will create a world-leading market infrastructure group.

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“Despite engagement with a broad set of regulators and extensive shareholder engagement, the board is disappointed that it has been unable to engage with the management of LSE in realizing this vision, and as a consequence has decided it is not in the best interests of HKEX shareholders to pursue this proposal.”

Last month, the LSE’s board rejected the bid unanimously last month and said it saw no merit in further engagement. The LSE said in a published letter sent to HKEX the bid was inherently uncertain because it was mostly in shares, and also because of Hong Kong’s questionable future as a strategic gateway.

HKEX had until Wednesday to follow up its initial takeover proposal with a firm bid. Under British rules, it is not allowed to make another approach for the LSE for six months.

LSE has announced a 27 billion dollar deal to acquire financial data company Refinitiv. That deal is aimed at transforming the LSE into global markets and information juggernaut to rival Michael Bloomberg’s financial data empire.

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