November 19, 2019 / 11:34 AM / 17 days ago

Swiss exchange operator SIX says offer for BME is fair for now

MADRID (Reuters) - SIX Group’s offer for Spanish bourse operator BME (BME.MC) is “financially attractive” for BME shareholders, SIX’s CEO said on Tuesday, without directly responding to questions on whether rival offers could lead the Swiss group to up its bid.

Pan-European stock market operator Euronext (ENX.PA) and SIX entered a bidding way for BME on Monday, with both trying to snap up one of Europe’s last standalone stock exchanges.

“We will see what happens in the future,” SIX CEO Jos Dijsselhof told a news conference in Madrid, when asked whether his company would raise its offer for BME, given the potential interest from other bidders.

SIX offered 2.84 billion euro ($3.13 billion) for BME.

Earlier on Tuesday, Spanish news outlets La Informacion and Cinco Dias respectively reported that Deutsche Boerse and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange were considering acquiring BME too.

Deutsche Boerse (DB1Gn.DE) and the Hong Kong stock exchange declined to comment.

In a formal offer filed with Spain’s market regulator on Monday, the Swiss exchange operator had offered BME 34 euros per share in cash, implying a total equity value of 2.84 billion euros ($3.13 billion).

Dijsselhof said that the rationale behind SIX’S bid for BME was creating growth opportunities in both countries rather than focusing on cost-cutting measures.

SIX’s CEO also said that the company’s initial intention was not to delist BME, “but to offer all shareholders the opportunity to sell their shares.”

“If we get more than 90% (of shares) it will be natural to do the squeeze out at the end.”

Reporting By Jesús Aguado and Clara-Laeila Laudette; editing by Jose Elias Rodriguez and Ingrid Melander

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