Hong Kong Stock Exchange in unexpected £31.6 billion bid for LSE

Hong Kong Stock Exchange in unexpected £31.6 billion bid for LSE

On 11 September 2019, the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKSE) announced a possible offer for the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) plc. HKSE, which already owns the London Metal Exchange, offered a mixture of cash and shares in HKSE to LSE’s shareholders, valuing the LSE at £31.6bn. LSE’s board, having initially responded with a statement that it was considering HKSE’s unsolicited approach, unanimously rejected the bid on 13 September 2019.

This is not the first time that the LSE has been subject to an attempted takeover. In March 2016, The American Intercontinental Exchange (which owns the New York Stock Exchange) abandoned its bid for the LSE because the LSE board refused to engage with them. Similarly, in March 2017, the Deutsche Börse-LSE merger was blocked by the European Commission after the LSE refused to sell MTS, the Italian government bond trading platform.

In rejecting the bid, the LSE stated that the HKSE proposal does not meet its strategic objectives. HKSE had stated as a pre-condition that LSE shareholders must not approve the Group’s recent acquisition of

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