March 26, 2020 / 7:42 AM / 8 days ago

Spain's market regulator clears SIX's takeover bid for market operator BME

MADRID, March 26 (Reuters) - Spain’s market regulator CNMV said on Thursday it had authorized a bid by Swiss exchange SIX to buy the Madrid stock market operator BME.

The move comes after the Spanish government cleared the takeover on Tuesday. CNMV had recommended last week that the government approve the bid.

BME shareholders will now have the final say on the deal.

Progress towards an agreement is being closely monitored by BME’s European rivals as its industry struggles with lower fees and revenues. France’s Euronext (ENX.PA) also expressed interest in buying BME, but never submitted a formal bid.

Buying BME would give SIX a base inside the European Union, and potentially help Switzerland regain access to EU equity markets after Brussels blocked EU-based investors from trading on Swiss exchanges from July in a row over a treaty.

SIX’s all-cash 2.84 billion euro ($3.1 billion) offer for BME included a 34% premium over the Spanish bourse’s market price when it made its friendly approach in November. (Reporting by Inti Landauro; Editing by Jan Harvey)

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