SIX challenges Euronext and pulls out bid for BME

On the 11/18/19 at 7:22AM


Adrien Paredes-Vanheule

While Paris-based stock exchange operator Euronext has confirmed 'ongoing talks' upon potential acquisition of Spanish stock exchange operator Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME), its Swiss competitor SIX Group has unveiled an all-cash bid for BME.

SIX has unveiled an all-cash voluntary tender offer for the full capital of Spanish stock exchange operator BME for €34 per share, implying a total equity value of €2.84bn.

The tender offer forms a 47.6% premium over BME’s 6-month volume weighted average share price and 33.9% over its closing price of €25.40 on 15 November 2019. SIX expects the acceptance period and closing of the transaction to occur in the first half of 2020, subject to regualtory approvals of the Spanish National Commission on Markets and Competition (CNMC) and the Spanish Securities Exchange Commission (CNMV) as well as to the approval from the Spanish government.

In a statement, SIX said the minimum acceptance threshold for the offer would be at least 50% plus one share of BME’s share capital. The Swiss company specified it expects to keep BME’s stand-alone listing in the Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia stock exchanges. "If legal applicable squeeze-out thresholds are met, a de-listing may be considered," the stock exchange operator added. Such a transaction, if approved, would make SIX the third largest European financial market infrastructure group.

SIX's bid went public in the aftermath of Euronext's confirmation of "ongoing talks" with the board of BME, which "could lead or not to a tender offer." Euronext already owns stock exchanges in Paris, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Dublin, Brussels as well as that of Oslo it acquired last June.

BME's market cap reached €2.12bn at closing of Madrid stock exchange on 15 November. The firm's CEO Javier Hernani did not rule out last October that BME may become "part of something bigger."

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