Will a Marathon Man Go All the Way for the LSE? ; as NASDAQ Ups the Ante, the Great Exchange Game of Will They, Won't They? Intensifies
Weber, Joseph, The Independent on Sunday (London, England)
Robert Greifeld, a dedicated runner who finished the Philadelphia marathon in just under four hours in 2002, is not easily deterred.
The chief of the Nasdaq withdrew a pounds 2.4bn (950p a share) offer for the London Stock Exchange on 30 March after being rebuffed by its managers. Then, last Tuesday, he stunned market watchers by snapping up 14.99 per cent of the LSE's stock, the legally permitted maximum, for pounds 446m, or 1,175p a share. The deal makes the American tech exchange the biggest single shareholder in the LSE.
"I was certainly surprised," says Benn Steil, director of international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations in the US and akeen observer of consolidation in the world's exchanges. "I think what motivated [Greifeld] to take a significant stake now is that it's quite clear the LSE management is looking around for a tie- up it finds more attractive."
Greifeld, whose offer in March was deemed too low by the LSE, seems to want to make sure that he either gets the exchange or has a big say in who does. When he withdrew his offer, he said he no longer intended to make a bid, though he reserved the right to do so. Now the LSE is rumoured to be interested in getting together with the Paris-based Euronext, and some observers say Greifeld could be positioning himself for a three-way deal.
A Euronext-LSE link-up would broaden the London market by adding derivatives and futures to its equity-trading prowess. Euronext has been trying to cut a deal with the LSE since the end of 2004.
Nasdaq spokespeople declined to comment, and LSE officials couldn't be reached.
Greifeld may have other motives for pursuing the LSE. The London market has become a magnet for new listings by Russian and Asian companies that shun Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange because they view regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley as too …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Will a Marathon Man Go All the Way for the LSE? ; as NASDAQ Ups the Ante, the Great Exchange Game of Will They, Won't They? Intensifies. Contributors: Weber, Joseph - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent on Sunday (London, England). Publication date: April 16, 2006. Page number: 9. © 2009 The Independent on Sunday. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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