Hong Kong Stock Exchange drops bid for London rival

Hong Kong (AFP) –


The Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Tuesday dropped its takeover bid for the prized London Stock Exchange Group.

A shock proposal of more than £30 billion was made by HKEX for LSEG on September 11, but LSEG formally rejected the offer the following day citing "fundamental" flaws and concerns over its ties to the Hong Kong government.

The huge cash-and-shares bid, which was worth £32 billion ($40 billion, 36 billion euros), was dependent on the axing of LSEG's proposed purchase of US financial data provider Refinitiv.

However, the owner of the London and Milan stock exchanges unanimously rejected the bid as too low, arguing it remained committed instead to its takeover of Refinitiv for $27 billion.

HKEX said in a statement released on Tuesday that it was "disappointed" to pull its bid but that it was in the best interests of shareholders to do so.

"HKEX confirms that it does not intend to make an offer for LSEG," the statement said.

"The Board of HKEX continues to believe that a combination of LSEG and HKEX is strategically compelling and would create a world-leading market infrastructure group.

"Despite engagement with a broad set of regulators and extensive shareholder engagement, the Board of HKEX is disappointed that it has been unable to engage with the management of LSEG in realising this vision."