U.S. exchange operator Nasdaq said yesterday it was launching a friendly offer worth $770 million for the Oslo bourse, topping a bid from rival Euronext.
In a statement, Nasdaq said it had already received acceptances from shareholders holding more than 35 percent of the stock. In December, European stock market operator Euronext launched a 625 million euro takeover bid to acquire the Oslo Stock Exchange.
Euronext operates stock exchanges in Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin and Lisbon. Euronext said at the time that if the deal went through, Oslo's leading position in seafood derivatives, oil services and shipping "would further strengthen Euronext's position as the leading market infrastructure for the financing of the real economy in Europe."
The board of directors of Oslo bourse said it considered the Nasdaq offer "the best alternative for all stakeholders... and therefore unanimously recommends that the shareholders of Oslo Bors VPS accept the offer and do not accept the offer to acquire the shares of Oslo Bors VPS made by Euronext." Any acquisition of more than 10 percent of the Oslo Stock Exchange requires the Norwegian authorities' approval.