LSE shareholder Royal London backs board's rebuff of Hong Kong bid

FILE PHOTO: The London Stock Exchange Group offices are seen in the City of London, Britain, December 29, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - London Stock Exchange Group LSE.L shareholder Royal London Asset Management said on Monday it backed the board's decision to reject a 32 billion pounds ($39.8 billion) offer from Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) 0388.HK.

LSE rejected the bid on Friday in favor of an agreed $27 billion deal with Refinitiv, in which Thomson Reuters has a minority stake.

RLAM, a top 30 LSE shareholder with 3.3 million shares, equivalent to a 0.95% stake according to Refinitiv data, said it continued to back the Refinitiv deal.

“The risk of the HKEX deal not completing, and the high level of shares in the consideration offered, do not compensate for the lost potential of a combination between London Stock Exchange Group and Refinitiv,” said Mike Fox, head of sustainable investments at RLAM.

Reporting by Simon Jessop; editing by Huw Jones