HKEx drops bid to buy London Stock Exchange

October 08, 2019 10:11
HKEx says it is disappointed that it has been unable to engage with LSE's management over a takeover offer. Photo: Bloomberg

Hong Kong Stock Exchanges and Clearing (HKEx) said on Tuesday that it has dropped its US$39 billion bid to acquire London Stock Exchange Group (LSE).

In a statement, Hong Kong's stock market operator said it has abandoned the takeover bid as it has been unable to bring the LSE Group's management on board for the deal, Reuters reports.

Despite the failed pursuit, HKEx said it still believes the combination of the two exchanges would be “strategically compelling”.

“HKEX is disappointed that it has been unable to engage with the management (of the London Stock Exchange) in realizing this vision,” it said.

HKEx's unsolicited approach, made in September, was rejected by the LSE, which has insisted it will stick to its own already announced US$27 billion plan to buy data and analytics company Refinitiv.

HKEx has said the LSE will have to ditch the Refinitiv purchase for its offer to go ahead.

When HKEx announced its surprise move, analysts also said the perception that Beijing was exerting growing influence over Hong Kong could become another key sticking point for an LSE takeover by the Hong Kong market operator.

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