The European stock trading industry is facing further consolidation, with rivals SIX Group and Euronext NV battling to acquire the Spanish stock exchange company Bolsas y Mercados Españoles (BME).
Switzerland’s SIX Group AG announced today that it’s planning a €2.8-billion all-cash offer for Spain’s BME, which operates stock exchanges in Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia.
The announcement came in the wake of the pan-European exchange, Euronext, issuing a statement confirming that it’s in talks with the BME’s board about a potential takeover offer for BME from Euronext.
The talks “may or may not lead to an offer being made,” Euronext said. “A further announcement will be made as and when appropriate.”
SIX said that its planned €34-per-share offer for BME “represents an attractive financial proposition for the current shareholders of BME.”
The offer represents a 47.6% premium over BME’s volume-weighted average trading price over the past six months.
In a statement, the BME board said that its preliminary assessment of the offer from SIX finds that the bid may “reasonably reflect” the company’s current value.
It also said that the board has “favourably assessed” commitments that SIX has made regarding corporate governance and the preservation of the Spanish markets, systems and infrastructures.
The BME surged on the news, trading above the price offered by SIX, suggesting that the market believes a higher competing bid may yet come.