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Wed 2 Jan 2008 02:47 PM

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OMX unanimously approves Dubai takeover

Board of Nordic exchange owner advises shareholders to accept Borse Dubai bid.

The board of Nordic and Baltic stock exchange operator OMX on Wednesday advised shareholders to accept a bid from state-owned Borse Dubai and a subsequent planned acquisition by Nasdaq.

"The combination of OMX and Nasdaq will create a new leader in the exchange industry, establish a strong platform for future growth and reinforce the Nordic and Baltic region as a financial centre," OMX chairman Urban Baeckstroem said in a statement.

The unanimous vote by the OMX board was "only guidance", OMX spokesman Jonas Rodny told newswire AFP, adding that the company's shareholders, who will begin voting on the deal on Monday, should make their decision within about a month.

The announcement came just days after US authorities gave the green light for Borse Dubai's investment in Nasdaq, clearing the way for the US high-tech stock market to combine with OMX.

Borse Dubai has made an all-cash 265 Swedish crowns ($49.95) per share offer for the Stockholm-based OMX.

Once Borse Dubai owns at least 67% of the shares of OMX, it will transfer all the stock it owns to Nasdaq. At the same time, Borse Dubai will make a minority investment in Nasdaq which in turn will take a minority holding in the Dubai International Financial Exchange (DIFX).

Borse Dubai is the holding company for the DIFX and Dubai Financial Market.

The cash offer by Borse Dubai values OMX at 32 billion crowns ($4.9 billion).

OMX operates exchanges in Copenhagen, Stockholm, Helsinki, Reykjavik, Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius.

Following Wednesday's announcement, OMX's stock price was up 0.19% to 262 crowns on the Stockholm stock exchange, which as a whole was down 0.05%.

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