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HK exchange makes £32B bid for LSE

11 September 2019

Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing said on Tuesday that it is planning to acquire the London Stock Exchange Group.

Charles Li, chief executive of HKEX, said that if the offer was successful, the newly combined group would be "strong placed" to benefit from the evolving macroeconomic landscape while also enhancing the "long-term resilience and relevance of London and Hong Kong as global financial centres".

HKEX, in its proposal to LSEG board, said the proposed combination will bring in "a highly compelling strategic opportunity to create a global market infrastructure leader".

The proposal is conditional on LSE Group dropping its planned £21.9billion deal to buy data provider Refinitiv.

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The proposed 31.6 billion pounds cash-and-share transaction would only go ahead if the LSE's proposed takeover of Refinitiv does not proceed, HKEX said.

It bought the London Metal Exchange for £1.4bn in 2012.

HKEX mentioned: 'The proposed mixture would strengthen each companies, higher place them to innovate throughout markets and geographies, and provide market individuals and traders unprecedented worldwide market connectivity'.

"Following early engagement with LSEG, we look forward to working in detail with the LSEG board to demonstrate that this transaction is in the best interests of all stakeholders, investors and both businesses".

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The HKSE deal is subject to approval by both sets of shareholders, as well as the termination of the Refinitiv deal.

"The proposal is a fascinating prospect but far from a done deal", Hunter said.

LSEG shares jumped by 15 percent - to just over £78 - after the news was made public, before falling back down to £72.

In 2017, European Union regulators blocked a proposed £21bn merger between the LSE and Germany's Deutsche Boerse.

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HK exchange makes £32B bid for LSE