Euronext stays determined to complete deal with Oslo Bors

Maria Nikolova

In the face of the support that Oslo Bors’ Board of Directors has voiced for rival offer by Nasdaq, Euronext is adamant to complete the proposed acquisition of the Norwegian exchange.

Last week’s announcement by Nasdaq AB, an indirect subsidiary of Nasdaq Inc (NASDAQ:NDAQ) that it will make a public offer to acquire all of the issued shares of Oslo Børs VPS Holding ASA at NOK 152 per share, has not affected the plans by Euronext to acquire Oslo Bors. This becomes clear from a press release issued by Euronext earlier today.

In today’s announcement, Euronext acknowledges the decision of the Board of Directors of Oslo Børs VPS Holding ASA not to recommend Euronext’s offer. But Euronext stresses that its offer is supported by the majority of Oslo Børs VPS shareholders.

On January 14, 2019 Euronext launched an all-cash tender offer to acquire all issued and outstanding shares of Oslo Børs VPS for NOK 6.24 billion. Euronext notes that it has already secured support for the offer from the majority of Oslo Børs VPS shareholders representing 50.5% of the total number of outstanding shares through irrevocable binding pre-commitments to tender shares in the context of the offer, and share purchases. Euronext’s offer is subject to a 50.01% minimum acceptance condition, which is already met.

Euronext is determined to acquire Oslo Børs VPS and remains committed to a constructive and continuous dialogue with Oslo Børs VPS shareholders, Board and management as well as the wider Norwegian ecosystem. Euronext’s Reference Shareholders have also confirmed their joint support to Euronext for this transaction.

Let’s note that Euronext says it will assess available options to adjust its offer.

Euronext is strongly convinced of the benefits that its combination with Oslo Børs VPS would bring to all Norwegian stakeholders. It has a strong track record of pan-European and decentralised independent market infrastructure management. The Exchange also stresses that it will be fully committed to the further development of Oslo Børs VPS, through a client-centric plan benefitting all parties of the Norwegian financial ecosystem. Euronext will act accordingly to preserve and develop the specific contribution of Oslo Børs VPS to the Norwegian economy including the Equity Capital Certificates market, the Fish Pool market located in Bergen, the high yield bond market and a seamless efficient listing platform.

Let’s recall that when voicing its preferences for Nasdaq’s offer, Bente A. Landsnes, President and CEO of Oslo Børs VPS, commented:

“Our customers are primarily Nordic financial groups preferring harmonized services throughout the Nordic region and Nordic delivery models. There is already a well-established collaboration between Nordic banks, brokers, broker associations and supervisory authorities. We see a combination for Oslo Børs with Nasdaq to be a natural step to further develop both the Norwegian and Nordic markets.”

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