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Just as it appeared the near two-month battle for control of Nordic exchange OMX AB was at an end Thursday morning, the Qatar Investment Authority said it bought a 20% stake in the London Stock Exchange and recommended that OMX shareholders take no action on a deal struck between Borse Dubai and the Nasdaq Stock Market. Under an agreement announced earlier in the day, Borse Dubai would take ownership of 19.99% of Nasdaq and 28% of the London Stock Exchange, which the Nasdaq has been trying to sell, while Nasdaq would get full control of the Nordic market. The deal would be accomplished by Borse Dubai purchasing OMX through its existing $34.68/share bid and then selling OMX to Nasdaq for $1.7B and the Nasdaq stake. It will pay $28.30/share for the LSE stake, leaving Nasdaq holding about 3% of LSE. Nasdaq would also have a holding in the Dubai International Financial Exchange, or DIFX, which would rebranded with the Nasdaq brand. Upon completion of the deal, Nasdaq and OMX would be known as the Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. Qatar said it had no plans to mount a full bid for the LSE, and said it wanted to hold its stake for the long-term, but reserved the right to make an offer if a third-party mounts an LSE bid. Nasdaq and Borse Dubai have been in a six-week bidding war for the Nordic exchange.

Sources: Press release, Bloomberg, MarketWatch, Wall Street Journal
Commentary: A Look At Stock Exchange StocksNasdaq's LSE Bid's Fate Likely in the Hands of 'Market Sentiment'
Stocks/ETFs to watch: NDAQ. Competitors: NYX, CME, CBOT, ISE
Earnings call transcript: The Nasdaq Stock Market Q2 2007

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Source: Dubai, Nasdaq Strike OMX Deal